I bought these lamb ‘laps’ at the indoor market in the North East last week. I didn’t have a clue what they were – and neither did the butcher, come to that (he said they were neck. Wrong: they’re rolled lamb breast). It’s a very tough cut of meat so needs long, slow cooking in a stock. It doesn’t look to pretty, but the flavour was out of this world: unbelievably ‘lamby’.
I’ve served this lamb with a freshly made Wild Garlic Pesto and cous cous, studded with candied lemon, raisins and shelled pistachios. Quite delicious.
For the lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp plain flour
2-3 lamb laps (rolled lamb breast)
300ml lamb stock
For the candied lemon cous cous
200g cous cous
200-250ml boiling water
2 candied (or sugar-infused) lemons (I was sent some for review purposes by fruit and nuts specialists, Carpo)
Handful of raisins
Handful of pistachio nuts (shelled)
For the wild garlic pesto
100g wild garlic leaves
1 tbsp honey (I used thyme honey, sent to me by Carpo – quite delicious)
4-5 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Dust the lamb laps with flour and put in the pan. Brown all over, approx. 1-2 mins. Transfer the lamb to a slow cooker and add the stock. Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours until the lamb is very tender. Once cooked, transfer the lamb to a foil-lined roasting tin and cook in a hot oven (around 180C/Gas 4) for 15 mins to crisp the exterior of the lamb.
2. To make the cous cous. Put the cous cous in a bowl and cover with boiling water, to about 1 cm over. Leave for 5 mins for the cous cous to absorb the water. After 5 mins, fluff up with a fork and stir through the lemon, raisins and nuts.
3. To make the wild garlic pesto, put all the ingredients, except the olive oil and seasoning, in a food processor. Whiz into a paste, then gradually add the olive oil until it becomes sticky and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve the crisped up lamb with a dollop of pesto and a good portion of cous cous.