Roast chump of lamb with creamed polenta

A meaty main course full of the fresh flavours of spring, from Paul Heathcote
By Paul Heathcote
Roast chump of lamb with creamed polenta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus resting
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the meat

  • 4 trimmed chumps of lamb, the fat slashed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp thyme, leaves only

For the creamed polenta

  • 50 g onions, finely chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 6 button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 20 g butter
  • 125 g instant polenta
  • 500 ml boiling milk
  • 50 g grated parmesan
  • 1 small bunches basil, finely shredded
  • 50 g pine kernels, lightly toasted
  • 50 g cooked peas

For the pea, broad bean and mint salsa

  • 100 g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 100 g broad beans, fresh or frozen
  • 1 small handfuls parsley
  • 1 small handfuls mint
  • 1 small handfuls coriander leaves
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 85 ml white wine vinegar
  • 85 ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. For the meat: rub the lamb with olive oil, thyme and sea salt. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

3. Heat a frying pan and add the lamb, fat side down - no extra oil is necessary. Cook over a high heat until the fat browns; turn and brown on all sides.

4. Transfer the lamb, fat side down, to a large roasting tin and roast for 6-8 minutes until done but still pink in the centre. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

5. For the creamed polenta: gently fry the onions, garlic and mushrooms in butter until soft but not coloured.

6. Stir in the polenta then slowly add the milk, stirring well until a soft porridge is formed. Add the parmesan, basil, pine nuts and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve. You may need to add a little boiling water if it firms up. Stir in the peas just before serving.

7. For the pea, broad bean and mint salsa: cook the peas until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Repeat for the beans and skin them by squeezing between your fingers. Mix with the peas.

8. Blitz the parsley, mint, coriander and spring onions in a food processor to roughly chop. Add three quarters of the peas and beans and blitz to a rough purée. Add the vinegar and olive oil blitz for a few seconds more.

9. Stir the remaining peas and beans into the salsa and season with salt and pepper.

10. To serve, spoon some of the polenta on the centre of a plate. Slice the lamb against the grain and lay on top. Dollop a good spoonful of the salsa on top.

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