Spring lamb, vegetable platter, mint sauce, Chianti gravy, chocolate fondue
• 1 x 8-bone rack of lamb, fat removed
• 1 x 2-piece pack of lamb neck fillet
• 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• white wine vinegar
• 300g cherry tomatoes on the vine
• 4 rashers of smoked bacon
• 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
• ½ a glass of red wine
• 500g baby new potatoes
• 250g baby carrots
• stalks from a bunch of fresh mint
• 1 organic chicken stock cube
• 200g fine beans
• 200g runner beans
• ½ a Savoy cabbage
• 200g frozen peas
• a knob of butter
• ½ a lemon
• leaves from a bunch of fresh mint
• 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
• olive oil
• extra virgin olive oil
• sea salt & black pepper
• 1 x 100g bar of good-quality dark
• chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
• 100ml milk
• 4–6 handfuls of mixed fruit, such as
mango, strawberries or pineapple
Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Put a large frying pan and a large saucepan on a high heat. Fill and boil the kettle. Turn the oven on to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
LAMB Halve the rack of lamb, then season with salt & pepper and add to the frying pan with a lug of olive oil.
VEGETABLES Wash the potatoes and trim the tops of the carrots. Add everything to the large saucepan with a pinch of salt. Rip the leafy tops off the bunch of mint and put aside for the mint sauce. Make sure the band is still around the stalks, then add them to the saucepan. Just cover with boiled water and crumble in the chicken stock cube. Put the lid on.
LAMB Drizzle olive oil straight into the pack of neck fillet and season. Turn the racks of lamb then put the two neck fillets in the pan. Sear the ends of the meat and keep coming back to the pan and turning each piece so they brown all over.
Pull the leaves off 3 sprigs of rosemary and put into a pestle & mortar with a good pinch of salt & pepper. Peel the garlic, add to the mortar, and pound really well. Turn the lamb over. Add Dijon mustard to the mortar with a good couple of lugs of olive oil and a swig of white wine vinegar. Mix well.
Make sure all sides of the lamb are seared, then use tongs to transfer all of it to a roasting tray. Pour away most of the fat in the pan, then put it back on a very low heat for the gravy. Spoon the dressing from the pestle & mortar over the lamb and put the vines of cherry tomatoes on top. Move everything around until well coated in the dressing. Sprinkle with salt, then whack on the top shelf of the oven and set the timer for 14minutes for blushing to medium meat, slightly less for rare, and more for well done. Turn the racks over halfway through.
GRAVY Finely slice the bacon and put into the frying pan.
MINT SAUCE Finely chop the reserved mint leaves and add to the unwashed pestle & mortar. Pound, then add the red wine vinegar, caster sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of cooking water from the veg pot. Muddle together with the pestle, have a taste to check the balance, and add a tiny splash of extra virgin olive oil. Take to the table with a spoon.
GRAVY Turn the heat under the bacon right up and add the leaves from the rosemary. Stir in the flour, red wine and a few ladles of cooking water.
VEGETABLES Trim all the beans and put the runner beans through a runner bean slicer or slice at an angle, 1cm thick. Cut the Savoy cabbage half in two and click off any tatty outer leaves, then discard the stalk. Cut the cabbage into thin wedges. Add the cabbage, beans and peas to the saucepan, then stir and put the lid back on.
LAMB Turn the lamb over. If your tomatoes are colouring too much, lean the meat on top of them.
at 2:16 AM