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Sunday roast: Breast of lamb stuffed with bacon and apricots recipe

Photo of roasted breast of lamb, rolled and stuffed with apricot stuffing

Economical and tasty roast stuffed breast of lamb – Sunday lunch special

We have got a craze for breast of lamb at the moment. It’s such an economical joint and it’s a great opportunity to play with store cupboard ingredients for the stuffing.

I usually use fresh breadcrumbs in stuffing but I had such a lot of dried breadcrumbs I though I’d whiz them up in the food processor and give them a go instead. I also left out onions to speed up the preparation.

The result was lots of texture and a satisfying crunchiness that balanced the sweet melt in the mouth meat. Following Nigel Slater’s tip that bacon and lamb flavours go so well together, I cubed some of our home cured streaky and added that to the dried apricots.

As we are thinking budget when it comes to meals, I boycotted the wine and just used cold water to bind the mixture. I tossed in a decent amount of fresh parsley and some chopped cashews. We are eating loads of parsley at the moment, I can’t wait for my parsley bed to get going again.

The secret of the dish is in the slow cooking. It needs a good 2.5 – 3 hours in a slow oven. The other must is to cover the ends of the joint with foil so that the stuffing remains moist and doesn’t burn. In fact I’m thinking of pot roasting my next experiment in the slow cooker.

The result was a classy dish that wouldn’t break the bank if you have friends round for supper.

Breast of lamb stuffed with bacon and apricots recipe
Recipe Type: Main
Author: fiona Nevile
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours 15 mins
Serves: 6
Economical, delicious and easy. Breast of lamb is a great choice. Rolled and stuffed it is even better.
Ingredients
  • 1 breast of lamb 500g (1 pound) or bigger
  • For the stuffing:
  • 100g of apricots chopped
  • 50g of cashews chopped
  • 200g of dried bread crumbs
  • 100g of smoked streaky bacon cubed
  • 4-5 tblsp of water
  • Lashings of ground black pepper
  • Two large handfuls of parsley
  • 3 average garlic cloves
  • A pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 220c (200c fan)
  2. Prepare the ingredients for the stuffing. Mix well and spread along the centre of the strip of breast of lamb.
  3. Roll gently and secure with a butcher’s skewer.
  4. The stuffing will want to squeeze out so place the meat in a boat of kitchen foil and cover the sides of the joint with two circles of foil to prevent the stuffing from burning.
  5. Put the joint into your preheated oven for 30 mins .
  6. After this turn the oven down low 160c (140c) fan. Remove the joint and pour over 50ml of cider/white wine or water).
  7. Return the joint to the oven for 2.5 hours. Basting occasionally.
  8. Let the joint rest under some towels for half an hour whilst you prepare your vegetables.
  9. Pour the juices from the joint into an ice cold pyrex jug and pop it into the fridge for a few minutes for the fat to solidify.
  10. Pour off the meat juices, add a little liquid and simmer the juice to thicken and reduce it.



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16 Comments

  1. Did this for 8 the other weekend. i stuffed two breasts of lamb which i boned myself and used the slow roast method which produced a very tasty meal.
    i added a bit of pork sausage meat to the stuffing and since I make my own wines I used wine to moisten it. io actually made plenty of stuffing and the left over was put into a buttered bowl and cooked in the over for half an hour after the joints came out.

    So I fed 8 guests with more than enough meat for only £10. And everyone thought it excellent. mind you I knew that already cos I’ve done it before. Absolutely delish — just wait till the chefs start using it and see the costs go up!
    nearly all the fat drains away from the meat and is easily disposed of leaving a tender rolled joint that is falling apart delicious!

  2. Danny

    That sounds scrumptious, Trevor. Thank you! Calvados – yes!

  3. Trevor

    I like lamb and even these sort of cheaper cut done in this way can be delicious. I jhave just stuffed mine with a mixed of bread crumbs , shallots, garlic, bacon scraps and well laced with anchovies.

    asfter the first heat flash i shall then layer the bottom of the pan with carrots, parsnips and quartered red onions to cook under the meat for the slow cook period. if the veg cook to much I shall use them to make a thick sauce by squishingthem through a sieve Then served tonight with new potatoes and sugar snap peas with a nice NZ Sauvignon Blanc and some home made rhubarb and apple crumble for afters. it is my 77th birthday today after all! A glass or two of Calvados that i brought back from my Apriol/May 5 week cycle camping tour in France ( which was distinctly moist — my comment to friends is the the “tan” is really rust!)

  4. Are there any substitutions for the apricots??

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Logan

      Prunes soaked over night or soft prunes (ready to eat) would be fine too. If using prunes add a dessert spoon of lemon juice to add a bit of acidity.

  5. Popeye

    Thanks for the recipe, tried it, messed it up first time….the meat shrank a tad too much so the stuffing mostly burnt…NEXT TIME!!
    Here’s an alternative. I had way too much stuffing left so i thought…
    1. Portobello mushrooms
    2. Stuff with apricot etc stuffing.
    3. Add a layer of tomatoes.
    4. Add layer of bacon.
    Fry mushrooms first in garlic and oil, part fry the bacon.
    Add a generous layer of stuffing, tomatoes then bacon.
    Pop in oven for about 20mins at 200 degrees, let the juices work their way down…then serve.
    Voila!

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