Former tennis pro and MasterChef contestant Henri Leconte shares his recipe for this delicious, tender lamb dish. A real comfort dish on a chilly day, it’s ideal in spring when lamb is at its seasonal best. If you’re looking for a classy French recipe to serve up at Easter, you need look no further.
- 4 lamb racks – 4 bone French-trimmed (ask the butcher to prepare it)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 small jar of violet mustard
- 4 rashers of pancetta, cut into lardons
- 3 banana shallots, finely diced
- 1l dark chicken stock
- 150g fresh peas, cooked
- 150g unsalted butter
- 200g carrots, cut into fine dice and blanched for 1 minute
- 2 baby gem lettuces cut into quarters
- 10 fresh mint leaves, ripped
- 1 tsp finely chopped tarragon leaves
- Fine salt
- Sea salt
- Pepper mill
1Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2Meanwhile, season the lamb well with fine salt.
3Place a heavy frying pan over a medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the olive oil.
4Put the lamb into the pan and colour it all over, turning it so that all sides brown evenly.
5Put the lamb on a roasting tray and brush the meat with the violet mustard, then place in the oven and roast for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and rest for 5 minutes in a warm place over the stove.
6In another frying pan over a medium heat, add olive oil, the chopped shallots and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
7Add the pancetta and lightly colour.
8Then pour the chicken stock to cover the pancetta and shallots. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Check the flavour and season well.
9Add the carrots, peas and butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
10Once you get the sauce consistency right, add the lettuce and mint. Let it simmer for 30 seconds and serve.
11Brush the lamb with another thin layer of mustard. Then cut the lamb into 4 cutlets. Spoon the pea, pancetta and carrot mix into each dish.
12Serve 4 lamb cutlets over each, then add some of the sauce to finish.
13Add just a little crush of sea salt over each dish.
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