One of the best things about living in the country is the generosity of your neighbors, especially when those neighbors give you choice cuts of their pasture raised lamb. With such a special present, we wanted to make sure the preparation enhanced the natural lamb flavor. There are many things that you can pair with lamb, but since mint was growing over our entire herb bed, we decide to make a chimichurri inspired sauce with it to coat the lamb.
Our mint chimichurri ended up bright from the champagne vinegar, spicy from the crushed peppers, and the perfect pairing for a summertime lamb dish. For those who don’t know, chimichurri is a popular Argentinian steak sauce made with parsley, cilantro, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and then finely chopped and served with steak. I varied mine slightly to pair better with the lamb that my husband brined and then smoked.
Once the lamb came out of the smoker, I almost died waiting for it to rest. The aroma is like nothing else, and with the spicy tangy sauce and bed of greens that we had picked from our garden, it was a feast.
This sauce is delicious with any cut of lamb, steak, or even as a topping for salad or potatoes.
1 full cup fresh mint
½ full cup fresh cilantro
1 small shallot or spring onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons crushed dried peppers
½ cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
Finely chop all of the ingredients, and whisk together with vinegar and oil. Serve at room temperature.
leg of lamb steaks
Mint Chimichurri sauce
In a container large enough to hold your cuts of lamb, fill it halfway with water, and whisk in enough sea salt to make it taste like sea water. Add black pepper and the cuts of lamb, making sure they’re covered with brine, and soak them in the refrigerator at least four hours. Remove from the refrigerator, pat dry, and coat with sauce.
Smoke or grill at 350, flip halfway through and remove once the internal temperature (use an instant read thermometer) is 140F. You can also broil your lamb in the oven 4-5 minutes per side.
Let lamb rest ten minutes while your dress some lettuce in the chimichurri sauce, and serve lamb with extra sauce. Enjoy!