Breast of lamb
Head butcher Nick Rapps at Sheepdrove Organic Farm explains how to get the best out of roast lamb.
“Organic meat is affordable when you know which cuts to buy. Breast of lamb is considered a cheap cut because it has a bit of extra fat. But do not be put off because there is such a thing as healthy fat! So much depends on how the animal is fed. Organic animals are largely grass-fed as nature intended. According to a report by Compassion in World Farming, eating meat from grass-fed animals can significantly reduce our intake of fat, including saturated (“bad”) fat. In addition, the fat from higher welfare animals contains a higher proportion of Omega-3 than that from factory-farmed animals and more cancer-beating antioxidants. And “good” unsaturated fat adds to the meat’s taste.
"Everything is connected. The animal’s natural behaviour is respected, and has a natural diet. In turn we are rewarded with healthy food.”
Serves four people
- 750g breast of organic lamb – ask your butcher to halve the cut and trim to reveal the ribs for easier handling.
- Fresh mint
- 100mls of cider or wine vinegar
- 2-3 whole carrots
- Vegetables of your choice
- Take the lamb out of the fridge one hour before cooking to reach room temperature.
- Place fat-upwards in an ovenproof dish with whole unpeeled garlic, a slosh of wine or soya sauce, seasoning, and a sprig of fresh rosemary. No need for any fat as cooking the meat will produce fat a-plenty. Place whole carrots underneath the meat to raise it above the fat that will dri. The fat can be kept for roasting potatoes on another occasion.
- Place breast of lamb in an oven pre-heated to 200C for ten minutes, then turn down oven to 160C for 2-3 hours. The longer you cook the lamb, the more it will simply fall off-the-bone, and the fat will be divinely crispy.
- If you are worried the fat looks like it might get burnt, screw up some greaseproof paper, wet it, then unfurl it and tuck it over the joint to protect the top from burning.
- While roasting, make home-made mint sauce by snipping up the fresh mint into the vinegar and leaving to stand
- Serve with vegetables of your choice and mint sauce.