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Rolled breast of lamb

by James Ramsden
Rolled breast of lamb

Rolled breast of lamb

PT1H

PT4H

Why not try?

A lamb’s breast is the same as a pig’s belly. Why the taxonomical difference I don’t know, but there it is. Call it lamb belly if you prefer. Ask for it off the bone and it will arrive looking like a flap of skin made predominantly of fat, cut through with sparse slivers of pinkish flesh. Don’t be fooled. There’s more meat on this boy than you give it credit for.

The trick, as with any fatty cut, is to cook it low and slow, rendering the fat and leaving meat that falls apart as soon as you look at it. And as with almost any fatty cut, lamb breast is incredibly good value, largely because it does look like a flap of fat, so no one will buy it, and into sausages/the bin, it generally goes.

Point of order – you do pay for this stuff, even if you don’t eat it. You pay for liver, and heart, and brains and kidneys, by not eating them. If the butcher is chucking away perfectly edible stock then he/she is going to have to make up the loss somewhere. Something to bear in mind.

This is easy as you like. We served it with romesco, charred aubergine, yoghurt and warm lavash bread.

1
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.5
2
Lay the lamb breasts flat, skin side down, and sprinkle with the chopped herbs, plenty of salt, and a few twists of pepper. Tie up tightly as best you can. Get a heavy-bottomed pan hot over a good flame with a splash of oil, and brown the breasts all over, seasoning as you go
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3
Transfer to a roasting tray. Add the wine to the frying pan and simmer for a few minutes, scraping up any bits as you go. Tip this over the lamb and cover tightly with foil. Bung in the oven and gently cook for 4 hours
4
Remove the lamb breast to a plate to rest, and leave the juices until the fat rises to the top. Skim this off and discard, then tip the juice into a saucepan and simmer to reduce. You could add butter at this point but in the summer perhaps it’s unnecessary
5
Thickly slice the breast and serve with the juice and whatever sides you’re having
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