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Easter Lamb

Making Easter lunch is one of my favourite occasions of the year, and you really can't beat a nice piece of lamb. Usually I stick to a shoulder or leg of lamb, but as I knew my mother-in-law was doing a leg for the traditional big Easter roast, I wanted to do something a bit different. I popped into the amazing Hampstead Butcher and Providore to see what delicious meaty offerings they had for the weekend and after a bit of a wobble with a pretty incredible looking veal chop, settled on a sizeable rack of lamb - very greedy for just the two of us, but hey it's bank holiday.

Having never cooked rack of lamb before, I read up on it quickly and decided to try an adaptation of this recipe from BBC Good Food. I tweaked the herb crust by just using whatever was in my fridge, which happened to be basil and chives, and I whizzed up pine nuts instead of parmesan. Barney told me to pan sear, coat with dijon and then add your herby breadcrumbs before roasting in a hot oven for about 20 minutes for it to be rare. Now, I like my lamb to be baaaa-ing, but this was still basically raw, so I had to add on another good 20 minutes for it to be cooked rare. This may be the recipe's fault, but most likely just the fact that my oven is crap, so I'd say just keep an eye on it.

I left the lamb to rest whilst I finished the accompaniments; as we'd had the standard roast potatoes, veggies etc. with the previous day's lamb I thought I'd serve it with truffle and parmesan baked polenta (I just use the cheaty readymade polenta blocks and chuck some truffle oil or truffle salt or whatever I've got hanging around over it) and our household favourite of creamed spinach. I like the creamed spinach at the Hawksmoor a LOT, and luckily now know how to recreate thanks to their brilliant Hawksmoor at Home book. I won't share the recipe as I can't find it online and it seems a little cheeky but essentially infusing the cream with anchovy and being very heavy handed with the grated nutmeg makes all the difference.

My lamb was looking too delicious by now, so I set about carving the individual chops. This was actually the most difficult bit and required a supremely sharp knife and a firm hand so as not to completely displace the herb crust from the body of the meat. Somehow I managed it and I was left with a very impressive looking plate. It tasted really really good and my much experimented upon other half also declared it a runaway success. So there we are. Incredibly easy and a good showy offy dish to do when you've got a spare £25 to spend on a nice bit of meat.

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