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Lambchetta with new potatoes, summer greens and salsa Lambchetta with new potatoes, summer greens and salsa

Lambchetta with new potatoes, summer greens and salsa

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A twist on European porchetta, this beautiful recipe from the Gastro Gays really is summer on a plate. Those warmer times of year when greens are abundant, new potatoes are prime for the picking and you want something lighter but still full-on flavour, our go-to meat is lamb for its versatility, flavour and value. Ideal for sharing, this recipe is suitable for 6 people 

Preparation: 20 mins  (plus 360 mins marination)
Cooking: 240 mins
Ingredients

FOR THE LAMBCHETTA

  • 2 lamb breast pieces (ask the butcher to debone and trim the cuts tell them what you’re planning to make)
  • 5-10 garlic cloves, depending on how garlic-y you want it
  • A generous handful of oregano (fresh is best, dried will suffice)
  • 10-12 sprigs of rosemary, de-stalked and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5-6 onions, chopped into thick rounds (3 rounds per onion, as a cooking base)

FOR THE SALSA VERDE

  • 1 bunch of basil, leaves only
  • 1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
  • 1 bunch of mint leaves
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, very finely diced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Flaked sea salt

TO SERVE

  • New potatoes, fresh greens or slices of bread, to serve
Method
  • Make the filling mixture for the lambchetta by using a pestle and mortar, starting with grinding the fennel seeds with a little salt, then adding the garlic and grinding to a paste before mixing it with the chopped herbs and a little oil or lemon juice.
  • Lay the lamb breast pieces skin side-up, one slightly overlapping the other. Season generously and spread the garlic and herb mixture equally generously over the opposite side, keeping a 1inch border at the edges to avoid it spilling out and catching in the oven. From the short side, roll the two breasts tightly together and secure with string to keep it tight and together in the middle and on the sides. This can be done 24 hours before you begin cooking and kept in the fridge, simply remove the lamb an hour before it goes in the oven to get to room temperature. If cooking the same day, set the oven to 220ºC.
  • Lay the rounds of onion at the bottom of a roasting pan and put the lamb on top, so it’s not directly touching the bottom. Place in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, before knocking the temperature down to 140ºC for 2.5-3 hours (depending on the size of the piece). If by the end of cooking time the fat still hasn’t quite rendered down sufficiently enough, you can increase the heat back to 220 and keep in for a further 15 minutes to get it to render out and get crispy.
  • Take the lamb out, cover loosely with a little foil and rest for at least 20 minutes.
  • Steep the finely diced shallots in the white wine vinegar for 20-30 minutes whilst the lamb is resting and as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • With a pestle and mortar, add all the herbs and grind until they’re somewhat broken down, then add the garlic, the flaked sea salt and grind further until you get to a rustic paste which still has a little bite and is intensely green.
  • Add the lemon juice, the shallots, a little of the vinegar and stir to combine before stirring in olive oil bit-by-bit until you get the desired consistency.
  • Serve the lambchetta warm, in thin or thick slices with a vibrantly green and fresh side salad and some crushed (steamed, then roasted) new potatoes and appoint the lamb generously with the sharp salsa verde.

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