Wednesday, 12 December 2012

What I had for tea Sunday night…

…and by that I mean dinner. But I’m from the Forest of Dean and dinner has always been called tea and lunch has always been called dinner. Confusing, I know – but that’s just how we roll.

As you know I love frugality and I picked up a rather nice recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s ‘River Cottage Everyday’.  It’s a lamb breast stuffed with a lemony apricot stuffing and is truly lovely. And to top it all off – the lamb breast cost me £3.70.  The recipe suggested one lamb breast will serve three people, but lets be honest, it’s winter and I need to get my reserves up – so for today at least, it serves only two!

As it’s cold outside, and was a Sunday, I went with some nice crispy roast potatoes, parsnips and butternut squash – and it really good.  Move forward six months however to (hopefully) hotter and sunnier times, and it would be amazing with a tomatoey couscous and a crunchy salad – and perhaps some crusty bread.  Recipe below – though I halved it as there were only two of us eating.

Roast breast of lamb with lemon and apricots
Serves 6 (yeah right)

2 breasts of lamb , boned, any skin and surplus fat removed
A knob of butter
3 – 4 small shallots (or half an onion), chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
125g fresh breadcrumbs
75g dried apricots, chopped
Grated zest of 3 lemons
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper

Make the stuffing/ Melt the butter in a small pan, add the shallots (or onion) and garlic and cook gently until soft but not coloured. Mix the breadcrumbs with the apricots, lemon zest, thyme and fried shallots and add plenty of seasoning. When cool, add in enough egg to bind the mixture lightly.

Lay the breasts of lamb flat on a board and season well. Divide the stuffing between them and spread evenly, leaving a little space at the edges and at each end. Roll the breasts up tightly and tie each with 3 or 4 pieces of string (or special elastic bands from the butcher that is safe to cook).  Season the outside with a little salt and more black pepper.

Place the lamb rolls side by side in a roasting dish.  Put into an oven preheated at 200C and cook for 30 minutes.  After this, reduce the temperature to 150C and continue to cook for another hour and a half.

Transfer the lamb to a warm serving plate and leave to rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Cut the lamb into thick slices and serve as you wish – two ideas above!


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