Thursday, 27 November 2014

Rolled & Stuffed Breast of Lamb

A lot of people like lamb, but few are prepared to spend out on an expensive cut, or buy a leg. However, there is an alternative - the rolled lamb breast. It's a very cheap cut, daresay the cheapest, and for good reason. There's not too much meat on the breast, and it can be quite fatty. However, to make the most of it, you just need to know how to cook it right, and of course i'm going to show you how!

You will need the following ingredients:

800g to 1kg of Rolled Lamb Breast, cheap as you like.
Bag of mixed leaf salad or rocket.
Three Cloves of Garlic
Coarse Ground Sea Salt

Utensils Needed:

Chefs Knife
Wooden Chopping Board
Small Roasting Tin
Kitchen Twine or String

Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 7 (425° Fahrenheit / 220° Celsius) - you need it as hot as you can get!

As you're going to be stuffing it, the first thing to do, is cut off all the strings...

...and unroll it into the constituent 'sheets'. Notice that it's not a single strip, but several, layered one on top of another.

Finely chop your garlic cloves, and scatter them across the lamb, with a good pinch of salt. Don't skimp on the salt either. As the lamb cooks, the fat will render down, and take most of the salt with it, through the meat, leaving a deliciously moist, and seasoned piece of breast meat .

It's entirely up to you whether to use mixed leaves, or just stick to rocket - they'er both equally delicious to me. A good handful of the leaves on each 'strip' will do nicely.

Layer the strips back on top of one another and turn your board through 90 degrees, to make rolling it easier. 

Grab one end tightly and start rolling, keeping steady pressure on. Once rolled back up, break out your butchers twine or in my case, string, and tie it back up. Do the knots up as tight as you can, because it'll lose mass as it cooks, and the string will slacken.

Place in the roasting tin at the very top of the oven, for 20 minutes ONLY!

After 20 minutes, assuming your smoke alarm hasn't gone off in the interim, take the lamb out of the oven. Notice, the fat covering it has already rendered and created a beautiful crust. Turn the oven down to Gas Mark 2 (300° Fahrenheit / 150° Celsius) and put the lamb back in for a further 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

It might seem like a long time for a small piece of meat, but turning the heat way down will cook it perfectly. The meat will be succulent & moist, not tough and chewy. Once removed from the roasting tin, set onto your chopping board - notice one side of mine has a drain channel around the edge specifically for roasted meat. Let the lamb rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. If you carve it when it's too hot, it'll come apart on you, and you ideally want a nice, intact slice!

This goes wonderfully with the Gratin Dauphinois by the way, and the timings & temperatures of the oven match up perfectly...i wonder why that is ;)

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