Friday, 13 September 2013

Lamb Cutlets with Warm Bean + Pea Salad & Roasted Tomatoes

The bf wanted lamb, and I had seen this recipe earlier in the week so, as far as I was concerned, job done.

It was a Gordon Ramsay recipe on the BBC Good Food site I had seen. Or at least I found out that it was later, I actually saw it on another site first that had made no reference at all to Gordon Ramsay and it was only after further research that I found it, word for word, on BBC Good Food. I’m sure that happens quite a lot in fact so to make it clear - you can find the original recipe here!

As usual, a few changes were made - for a start, I chose to use individual cutlets rather than a rack mainly because the last remaining rack in the shop was tiny (less than 200g I think - i.e. barely enough for one greedy person) but also as I thought I would “simplify” matters in doing so. If I had engaged brain for a moment it would have been pretty apparent that this was balderdash - browning the fat side of a rack of lamb is actually pretty quick & easy. Six Individual cutlets? Not so much.

A couple of other changes were made with the vegetables: I hadn't been able to get my hands on broad beans, for love nor money (and in season!) in any of the supermarkets near us and our freezer is similarly lacking in stock so I used frozen edamame (soy beans), frozen petis pois and fine green beans. And I can’t remember the last time I saw a plum tomato in the veg section which means common or garden (although very ripe) tomatoes were used instead. Taste-wise I am sure it made little difference but plum tomatoes do have that nice barrel quality that holds its shape rather well.

Lamb Cutlets with warm bean & pea salad & roasted tomatoes

serves 2

For the roast tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
3 ripe tomatoes, halved
a few sprigs of thyme 
3 cloves of garlic 
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a small handful of basil leaves
For the lamb
6 lamb cutlets 
1 tbsp olive oil
15g butter
4 garlic cloves, bashed, skin left on
a few sprigs of thyme 
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the warm bean & pea salad
150g frozen edamame 
150g fine beans, trimmed
50g frozen petis pois 
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, halved lengthways and finely sliced 
small handful flaked almonds, dry toasted 
For the dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Heat the oven to 200C.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan or skillet and fry the tomatoes cut-side down.

Add the thyme and garlic and continue to cook until softened and slightly coloured.

Turn them over, drizzle with balsamic, then roast in the oven for 20 mins until soft and caramelised. Once cooked, take out and leave aside to rest.

While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the lamb. Season the cutlets generously and heat the oil and butter in another ovenproof frying pan (if you don’t have another, as I don’t, fry in a normal pan and then transfer to a roasting dish).

Place the lamb cutlets (I did this in 2 batches as unless you are actually cooking a rack of lamb it can all get a little unwieldly), fat-side down, in the pan and scatter round the garlic and thyme. Brown the lamb fat really well, then give each of the sides a little colour.

Baste the lamb with the pan juices, then transfer to the oven alongside the tomatoes for 10 mins then remove from the oven and leave aside somewhere warm to rest.

While the lamb is cooking, prepare the bean & pea salad.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the edamame (or broad beans!) for a few mins. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon straight into a bowl of iced, cold water.

Boil the fine beans in the same water for 2 mins, then add the peas and cook both for a minute longer. Drain, plunge into iced water, leave for a minute or so then drain again.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the shallots for a couple of minutes until they start to soften and just colour, then add the fine beans and peas. Cook for a minute or 2 (you are just heating them through), then throw in the almonds followed by the edamame.

Scatter the basil over the tomatoes and make the dressing by whisking the oil and vinegar together.

Arrange 3 chops per plate on top of the bean salad on one side of the plate, with 3 tomatoes halves each down the other side. Drizzle the dressing around and serve.

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