Lamb noisettes with fig and kumquat sauce

    1 hour 10 min

    Tender pieces of lamb spread with garlic and herbs are served with a fruity sauce. Try serving with potatoes and a green vegetable such as broccoli.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    • Salt and black pepper
    • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) best end of neck of lamb, boned
    • Whole nutmeg, for grating
    • 8 large sprigs fresh rosemary
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • For the sauce
    • 100 g (3½ oz) ready-to-eat dried figs
    • 100 g (3½ oz) kumquats, thinly sliced and seeds removed
    • 125 ml (4 fl oz) dry white wine
    • 300 ml (10 fl oz) chicken stock

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Crush the garlic, basil, parsley and a little salt almost to a paste.
    2. If the boned lamb has been rolled, remove any string and unroll it. Cut off the meatless flap at the thin end of the joint and trim any excess fat.
    3. Lay the lamb skin side down, season with black pepper and grated nutmeg to taste, and spread the herb paste over it. Starting at the fleshy end of the lamb, roll it up into a cylinder and tie it at 2.5 cm (1 in) intervals with fine string, starting 1 cm (½ in) in from the end. Then cut it into eight noisettes halfway between each tie.
    4. Push a sprig of rosemary through each noisette, then brush both sides of each noisette with oil. Cover and set aside while you make the sauce.
    5. Remove any stalks from the figs, cut the stalks in half and put them into a saucepan with the kumquats, wine and stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for l0 minutes. Uncover the pan, raise the heat slightly and allow the sauce to bubble for 3-4 minutes until reduced to a slightly syrupy consistency. Put the lid back on and keep the sauce warm over a low heat.
    6. Heat a ridged, iron grill pan or heavy-based nonstick frying pan until very hot, add the noisettes and cook them for 3-4 minutes each side. Or cook them under a hot grill or on a barbecue: they will take a minute or so longer to cook.
    7. Remove the string from the noisettes before serving them, accompanied with some sauce.

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