Spring has well and truly sprung when we see the arrival of Scottish lamb in the kitchen. It is an exciting ingredient to work with and the tenderness and flavour is second to none.
So many flavours work with this meat so it is important to try to look beyond the traditional mint sauce!
This recipe presents the lamb firmly at centre stage with hints of garlic and thyme and light accompaniments of pea purée and Jersey Royal potatoes.
I would recommend giving this a go as a spring alternative to the Sunday roast.
It is much quicker to get on the table and the outcome is equally satisfying.
• Mark Greenaway is the Chef Patron of Restaurant Mark Greenaway on North Castle Street and Bistro Moderne in Stockbridge.
Ingredients for the lamb:
2 x 200g lamb rumps, fat on but with the sinew removed
1 clove of garlic, crushed but with the skin left on
1 sprig of thyme
Ingredients for the crushed Jersey Royals:
2-3 Jersey Royals per person
1 sprig of thyme
1 tsp thyme leaves
Ingredients for the pea purée:
1 shallot, finely diced
Half a clove of garlic, finely sliced
150g peas, fresh or frozen
100ml good quality chicken stock
100ml double cream
Method for the lamb rump:
Preheat the oven to 185C.
Place the lamb rumps fat side down in a cold non-stick pan.
Bring the pan up to a medium-high heat. This will render out the fat, give great colour and a crispy texture.
Once the fat side is golden brown, add a touch of rapeseed oil and turn the lamb over to the flesh side.
Season the fat side with salt.
Cook for a further 3 minutes.
Turn the lamb back on to the fat side.
Place in the oven for 9 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and drop in the butter, thyme and garlic.
Baste the juices over the lamb, turning frequently for 2-3 minutes.
Leave the lamb to rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing.
Method for the crushed Jersey Royals:
Gently boil the Jersey Royals and the sprig of thyme in salted water till the potatoes are tender. This will take 15-18 minutes.
Drain the Jersey Royals and place them back in the pan.
Add the butter and thyme leaves.
Crush the potatoes with the back of a fork. Season with salt to taste.
Method for the pea purée:
Melt the butter in a pan.
Add the shallot and garlic and sweat till softened but with no colour.
Add the stock and reduce by half.
Add the milk and cream and bring to a rapid boil.
Add the peas and quickly bring back to the boil.
Remove from the heat.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid and the peas separately.
Blend the peas in a high-speed blender, adding in the liquid until the desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt to taste.
At the restaurant we serve this with a few scattered fresh peas and some lamb jus.