We suggest using hogget for ths recipe. ‘Spring Lamb’, synonymous with Easter, is perhaps a misleading phrase; the lambs that are bouncing around the pastures have plenty of growing to do before they are available to cooks. At this time of year, meat will either be imported or from lambing that occurred in the autumn and winter, when they are raised indoors on a supplemented feed. So it is worth being patient and waiting until the summer for grass-fed free-range lamb, you will taste the difference. In the meanwhile hogget, a year old and just as delicious as lamb, is a really good alternative. Talk to your butcher and they will advise. The Italian feel to our Easter menu is found in the stuffing, mixing spinach and ricotta with the delicate flavours of wild garlic. We grow wild garlic in our kitchen gardens at Thyme, if you are are picking in woodlands think about the wildlife that depends upon it, and only then take what you need. You can find wild garlic online and from really good green-grocers.
- 1 boneless lamb or hogget saddle
- 250 g ricotta
- 250 g cooked spinach
- Handful wild garlic leaves
- Handful breadcrumbs
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Sprouting broccoli
- Spring onion bulbs
- Wild garlic
Oven: 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7
- Mix all the stuffing ingredients together and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Lay the boned saddle on a board fat side down, lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Place the stuffing down the centre of the saddle between the two ‘eyes’ of meat, pressing the two fillets against the stuffing.
- Wrap the wings of the saddle around the centre. The saddle will now resemble a cylinder.
- Tie the saddle using butchers twine.
- Roast the saddle in a deep cast iron casserole for approx. 35-40 minutes until 42°C in the centre.
- Remove the saddle onto a trivet and leave to rest in a warm place.
- Add the vegetables to the casserole and gently cook the vegetables for approx.. 10 minutes until just cooked, finished with chopped wild garlic, mint and seasoning.
- Remove the string from the saddle and slice.
- Serve with the braised vegetables.