Spring lamb with anchovy butter

Showcase new season's tender lamb with simple accompaniments in this elegant main course
By John Burton Race
Spring lamb with anchovy butter
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the tarragon vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp lemons, juice only
  • 60 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 pinches caster sugar
  • 250 ml olive oil
  • 1 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon

For the lamb

  • 5-6 boneless chumps Devon spring lamb
  • olive oil, for frying

For the herb and anchovy butter

  • 250 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 shallots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 sprigs thyme, leaves only, finely chopped
  • ½ bay leaves, finely chopped
  • 30 g chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp chopped capers
  • 3 gherkins, finely chopped
  • 2 tinned anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 6 tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ lemons, juice only

To serve

  • salad leaves
  • minted new potatoes


1. For the tarragon vinaigrette: put the lemon juice, wine vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper into a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil gradually.

2. Using a funnel if necessary, transfer the dressing into a jar or bottle and add the garlic and tarragon. Put a lid or cork on the bottle or jar and leave to infuse.

3. Cut each lamb chumps into 2 lengthways pieces and season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan until hot and sear the lamb pieces until they are golden brown, then set aside and leave them to cool.

4. For the herb and anchovy butter: melt 20g of the butter in a small pan and cook the shallots and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the wine and reduce by half, then add the thyme and bay leaf and cook for a further 2 minutes. Leave to cool.

5. Put the rest of the butter into a food processor and process until it turns white and fluffy. Add the parsley, capers, gherkins, anchovies, tarragon, egg yolks and lemon juice. Process briefly to mix, then add the cooled shallot mixture and combine.

6. When ready to serve, pre-heat the grill to medium-hot. Spread the cooked lamb chumps liberally with the herb and anchovy butter (you wont need it all) and grill them gently for 6-8 minutes.

7. Shake the vinaigrette well and use the desired amount to dress the salad leaves.

8. Place the leftover butter on a sheet of greaseproof paper and freezer for future use.

9. To serve, arrange the grilled lamb on a plate and serve with dressed salad leaves and minted new potatoes.

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