I feel like an interloper. This for many years has been a mainstay of Frank and Julia’s mealtime but I came across a reduced rolled breast at my Tesco for only £3. I’ve waited and waited and waited for him to post his dish but alas, making films seems to be more important. I do know that he is injured at the moment and should have been playing bowls tonight so that was an opportunity for him to go through the hundreds of photo’s of food he’s taken and deliver us some nuggets of his culinary wisdom. He hasn’t so here I am.
Breast of lamb was a tricky thing to sell when I was a butcher. people were wealthy and did not want cheap cuts of meat. I used to end up making a mush we called “Pet mince”. It used the lungs of the sheep with other tasty morsels ( sweetbreads, testicles, brains, yum yum) along with breast of lamb. Nowadays everyone is looking for that “cheap cut” to the extent that all the supermarkets and butchers know that’s what people want, so they start charging premium prices for these. Once upon a time monkfish was 50p a kilo now it’s £24 a kilo. Ox cheeks went into pet mince along with pork cheeks. Oxtail was just never requested by butchers from the abattoir as only the O.A.P’s wanted it in winter to make a soup. And now people write food blogs about cheap cuts they buy! Ha!
The breast of lamb was lovely and was slightly fiddled around with. Of course. I opened the rolled breast and cut the strings to reveal a breast and a half rolled up. I basically re rolled it back together after adding a stuffing made from chopped apricots, anchovies, crushed chillis and garlic slices. I didn’t use a bread mix with the stuffing as I didn’t want the rolled breast to be too big. I rolled the breast back together using my special butcher’s knots with my butcher’s twine. Use whatever method you can. Cocktail sticks are ok for this.
Then into a hot oven it went for 15 mins before I turned down the oven to around 140C for another 2 hours. Yes it’s a long time but you need to render the fat out of this cut of meat but also basting regularly along the way to give a nice crispy skin all over.
This gave loads of time to make the other parts of the meal. The cous cous was made with chicken stock then added to caramelised onion and red pepper and spiced with smoked paprika, cumin and a little orange juice.
Of course there was a sauce involved and after watching tonight’s Masterchef I was proved right that a little wetness was needed. I made a basic red wine and redcurrant sauce using more chicken stock and a little smoked paprika to bring the dish together.
And there you go. add a bit of veg and you’re away. I liked the lamb, it had a flavour that has been missing from more expensive cuts I’ve had recently. The crispyness was lovely and the cous cous and sauce was spot on. Now Frank. Can we have your take on this please?