Lavender and lemon lamb

Lavender flowers and lemon zest make a surprisingly good seasoning for lamb - Sophie Grigson serves creamed beluga lentils on the side
By Sophie Grigson
Lavender and lemon lamb
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 2 hrs infusing
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the lamb

  • 250-300 g fillet of lamb, trimmed
  • 4 heads fresh lavender
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest only

For the lentils

  • 150 g black beluga lentils
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tomato, seeds removed, diced small
  • 1 Little Gem lettuce, finely shredded

To serve

  • 2 sprigs lavender

Method

1. For the lamb: spread a large sheet of cling film out on a clean work surface.

2. Pull the flower heads off the stalks of lavender and scatter over the sheet of cling film together with the lemon zest, and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

3. Roll the lamb up tightly in the cling film, ensuring the surface is evenly covered with the seasoning. Twist the ends to secure (like a giant sweet) and tuck them under. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours for the flavours to develop - make sure you bring the meat back to room temperature when you are ready to cook it. While the meat is infusing, prepare the lentils.

4. For the lentils simmer the lentils in a saucepan of water, along with the bouquet garni, until tender - about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils when they are ready and discard the bouquet garni.

5. Bring a pan of water to the boil and lower the lamb into the pan, still wrapped securely in the cling film.

6. Simmer the lamb for 10-12 minutes (or until the lamb is tender), then carefully lift it out of the pan and leave to rest for 5 minutes - you may wish to cook the lamb longer if you dont like your lamb rare. While the lamb is cooking, finish the lentils.

7. Add the cream, mustard and two thirds of the parsley to the lentils and simmer for a few more minutes to heat through. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

8. Remove the lentil pan from the heat and stir in the diced tomato.

9. To serve, remove and discard the cling film from the lamb and slice into pieces.

10. Arrange the lettuce on warmed plates, spoon the hot lentils over and top with the slices of lamb. Garnish with the remaining parsley and sprigs of lavender. Serve at once.

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