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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Roast Breast of Lamb Stuffed with Lemon, Capers and Anchovy

This was my first time cooking breast of lamb. This cut of meat is not particularly popular in Italy, which is odd considered that Italians are rather keen on what are generally considered the "poorer" cuts - oxtail, pig trotters, tripe and similar other anxiety-inducing dishes for the more squeamish diners. The main issue with the breast of lamb is that it has a lot of fat, and not too much meat; therefore, I decided to add the stuffing to bulk it up a little, and slow roast it to allow the fat to melt away. I was really pleased with the results, and it makes for quite a sophisticated looking plate of food, considered its humble origins!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4 people)

  • One breast of lamb (boned and trimmed of any extra fat and skin)
  • Two white onions
  • One large fennel bulb
  • A glass of white wine
  • Salt and pepper
For the stuffing
  • One small white onion
  • The zest of one lemon
  • 100 gr of fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • One tablespoon of capers
  • Two anchovy fillets 
  • A teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
  • 1 egg
Start by making your stuffing. Roughly dice the onion and garlic and place them in a food processor with the capers, anchovies and a little olive oil. Whizz the ingredients, then put them in a bowl and add the lemon zest, thyme leaves, breadcrumbs and the egg (that you would have lightly beaten first). Work all the ingredients together; season with pepper, but do not add any salt (the anchovies and capers will have plenty in already). 

Roll the breast of lamb on a chopping board, and season with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing evenly on top, then roll it up and secure it with a kitchen string (or with some toothpicks, as I did). 

Heat the oven at 200°C and roast your meat for about 20 minutes. During this time, slice your onions and fennel bulb in chunks. After the 20 minutes have gone by, take the meat out of the oven, pour any fat out of the roasting tin and scatter the vegetables at the bottom; then place the meat on top of the vegetables, pour the white wine in the tray and return it to the oven, turning the temperature down to 150°C. Let it cook for one hour. 

The vegetables on the bottom of the tray would have soaked up the fatty juices, so they may be a bit too rich to eat; feel free to discard them if you want, their primary purpose was to flavour the meat and keep it moist. Let the roast lamb rest four 15 minutes before carving it in slices. I served it with a tomato and coriander salad, and steamed green beans. 


Anonymous said...

Divine. I'll enjoy it with some wine.

Irene said...

Thank you, Amateur Cook. Bon appetit!