Connemara Lamb Marinated in Port and Honey, with a Tomato & Mint Chutney from Currarevagh House, Co. Galway
Connemara is renowned for its lamb and Currarevagh is supplied by local butchers in Oughterard. One full rack should be sufficient for nine people, so this recipe can be adapted accordingly. Get your butcher to bone the rack for you so that the marinade will permeate the meat easily. The minted chutney is an unusual alternative to the traditional mint sauce as an accompaniment.
Ingredients (serves 9):
1 full rack of lamb (weight before boning about 5.5lb/2.5kg), boned
7 fl oz/ 200 ml/1 cup soy sauce
7fl oz/200 ml/ 1 cup port
7fl oz/200ml/ ¾ cup honey
5fl oz/ 150 ml/ 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp/ 1¼ US tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 sprig of rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Tomato and Mint Chutney:
15 fl oz/ 450 ml/ 2 cups brown sugar
15fl /450/ 2 cups red wine vinegar
2 14oz / 400g tins of plum tomatoes
2 Bay leaves
1 Bunch fresh mint, chopped
First make the chutney: Place all the ingredients, except the mint, in a saucepan. Bring to the boil slowly, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for about one hour or until it has reduced in volume by at least half. Remove bay leaves, stir in the mint and season to taste. This is best served hot, although it is also good cold.
To prepare the lamb: Mix the marinade ingredients and marinate the lamb in the fridge overnight.
Preheat a very hot oven, 220 C/ 425 F/ gas mark 7. Meanwhile, roll the meat neatly and tie with a string at 1 inch / 3cm intervals and then cut in half, to ensure even cooking. Place the meat in a large roasting tin and pour the marinade over it. Roast for 20 minutes and then leave to rest for a further 20 minutes or until you are ready to slice it. The meat will be tender and pink so, if it is preferred medium to well done, it should be left in the oven for a further 10-20 minutes. Slice and serve with seasonal vegetables and the Tomato & Mint Chutney.