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Sunday roast: Melt in the mouth slow baked breast of lamb stuffed with chicken livers, apricots and pine nuts recipe

stuffed breast of lambWe have halved our paper bill by cancelling the Sunday paper (we are just weekend readers). We actually read the Saturday paper now rather than glancing at it and turning it into fire briquettes a week later. The one article that I always read is Mark Hix’s recipe ideas as we are eating our breakfast and Danny is chortling through the sports section of the paper.

This week he had a tempting recipe for slow baked breast of lamb. A pretty brave move as everyone is probably planning to invest in the more expensive cuts of lamb for Easter Day. I immediately added breast of lamb to the butcher’s section of my shopping list. We were invited to my sister’s house for Easter Day (succulent shoulder of lamb with all the trimmings) and I wanted to make D something special for Bank Holiday Monday.

“What are you going to do with this?” John was curious as he boned the joint.
“I thought that I’d stuff and roll it.”
“Have you got a small threaded skewer?”

John demonstrated how to stuff breast of pork. He rolled the joint up tight and secured it with a stout skewer. Pre rolled it had the look of a thick sheet of flexible cardboard. Rolled up it looked teeny. The size of three small scones strapped together. How could this possibly feed 4?

It was clearly all down to the stuffing. Mark Hix’s stuffing was made was with minced lamb or offal and wild garlic. It was roasted on a bed of onion and fennel. As the weekend drew to a close I decided to jettison the minced lamb and the wild garlic and the fennel.

I wanted a softness to the stuffing so chose chicken livers. I also fancied the sweet nuttiness that an apricot and pine nut combination should offer. I imagined an extra, surprising texture so added hulled sesame seeds. I added cider to the baking tray and the final gravy to add some sweetness.

It was a very special meal. Melt in the mouth, rich, easy and tasty.

With the stuffing the joint could miraculously feed four at a pinch with a starter.

Melt in the mouth slow baked breast of lamb stuffed with chicken livers, apricots and pine nuts recipe

The joint:
500g breast of lamb (boned)
3 small red onions (peeled and sliced in half moons)
50ml of good organic cider

The stuffing:
75g of finely chopped onion
200g organic free range chicken livers (minced or chopped very fine)
50g of dried organic apricots (minced or chopped very fine no need to soak)
25g of pine nuts roasted under the grill until golden brown
25g of hulled sesame seeds roasted under the grill until golden brown
6-10g of fresh coriander (cilantro) with stalks and leaves. Chopped very fine.
1 fat clove of garlic chopped fine
100g of fresh breadcrumbs

The method:
Soften the chopped onion until it’s soft and translucent
Add the minced (or chopped) chicken livers, apricots, garlic, coriander, pine nuts and hulled sesame seed. Mix well and spread along the centre of the strip of breast of lamb. Roll gently and secure with a butcher’s skewer. 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 stop the stuffing burning.

Put the joint into a preheated oven for 30 mins at 220c (200c fan). After this turn the oven down low 160c (140c) fan. Remove the joint and spread the onions beneath the joint (in the foil parcel and pour over 50ml of cider). Return the joint to the oven for 2.5 hours. Basting occasionally. Let the joint rest under some towels for half an hour whilst you prepare your vegetables and sauce. Put 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. Pour of the meat juices, add a little more cider and simmer the juice to thick and reduce it. Serving slices of the joint with the red onions, mustard mash a green vegetable such as white sprouting broccoli.

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  1. Hi i have tried this recipe today with some lamb that i was given and used white wine instead of cider and it was really nice Thankyou.

  2. janice

    breast of lamb is available boned and rolled but not cheap anymore I think about £4 i am trying today in the slow cooker

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Toffeeapple

    I’m not sure how much this joint cost but I know that it was cheap! We are going to try it again with a variety of stuffings as it was delicious, and as you say, such sweet meat.

    Hi Pat

    It was yummy and looked very pretty on the plates.

  4. This sounds rather yummy!!! Thanks Fiona!!!

  5. Toffeeapple

    Many years ago, we lived on breast of lamb, they were about 28p each! I had so many recipes for them and now, I haven’t seen one for sale in years! Such sweet meat. Yours was, obviously, delicious!

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