Rosie Birkett’s slow roast fennel-stuffed breast of Welsh Lamb with preserved lemon new potatoes

  • Prep time 30 mins
  • Cook time 3 hrs 30 mins
  • Serves 5+

Ingredients

For the lamb:

  • 2 trimmed, boned out breasts of PGI Welsh Lamb (about a kilo each)
  • Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • A big knob of butter
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 small head of fennel, core removed and bulb finely diced
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • A handful of fresh herbs, chopped (a mix of mint, rosemary and oregano, 5 – 6 sprigs each)
  • 2 slices of stale white bread (about 3 handfuls/100g, crusts removed and coarsely blitzed)
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • Handful of red currants

For the potatoes:

  • 400g new potatoes peeled or skin on, scrubbed
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 10g preserved lemon
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • Olive oil

Method

Recipe courtesy of Rosie Birkett

 

  1. Heat the oven to 200ºC / 180ºC fan / Gas 6. In a heavy bottomed frying pan or skillet over a medium heat melt the butter into the oil with the anchovies, until they’ve mostly dissolved into the fat. Slide in the onion and fennel, season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sweat the ingredients together for a few minutes, until the fennel is softened and the onions are translucent. Remove from the heat. Add in the garlic, pine nuts, fresh herbs, breadcrumbs and lemon zest and stir to bring together. Squeeze over the lemon juice and mix together. Allow to cool, then stir in the redcurrants.
  2. Remove your lamb breasts from the fridge and season the flesh side. If there’s a lot of hard extraneous fat, trim it away. On a clean work surface, lay out 4-6 pieces of cooking string long enough to tie around the meat once it’s rolled. Lay the lamb breasts skin side down, slightly overlapping with the fattest part of each breast at opposite ends – try to make the shape as close to a rectangle as you can. Distribute the stuffing down the middle length of the lamb belly, leaving the edges clear, then roll the bottom breast up and over the stuffing, rolling so it’s encasing the stuffing. Keep rolling until you have a tightly rolled log of stuffed lamb, then tie it up reasonably tightly with the string.
  3. Place in an oiled roasting tray, cover loosely with foil and roast for fifteen minutes. Turn the tray around, reduce the temperature to 180ºC / 160ºC fan / Gas 4 and roast for another 1 hour 45 minutes, basting occasionally. Remove the foil and cook for 30 more minutes, to crisp up the skin. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes, then slice and serve with the potatoes.

For the potatoes

  1. Par boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water, until tender enough to squish. Drain and allow to steam off, then toss into a roasting tray with the garlic, preserved lemon, capers and a good coating of olive oil. Squash a few of the potatoes down with the back of a fork, this will go crispy and lovely in the oven. Season and roast for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden.
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