Lamb Cassoulet

Serves 4


Lamb cassoulet

300g lamb sweetbreads (I use heart sweetbreads)

2 baby aubergines, halved

1 large fennel bulb, cut into 8 wedges lengthways

5 tbsp olive oil

juice of ½ lemon

2 tomatoes, each cut into 6

1 large Desiree potato, cut into 4 wedges

1 thyme sprig

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 8-bone rack of lamb

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Lamb jus

1kg lamb bones

1 carrot, peeled and halved

1 Roma tomato, halved

½ garlic clove,w ith skin

1 tsp tomato purée


Soak the sweetbreads in a light stock or in water overnight to get rid of any excess blood.

Lamb jus

The next day, start by making the lamb jus. Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas mark 7.

Place the bones in a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 1 hour, until dark brown. Remove and transfer to a large saucepan, then add the remaining ingredients. Cover with water and bring to the boil, skimming the scum from the surface. Cover and simmer for 45-60 minutes or until you have a flavoursome stock. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve lined with muslin, then return to the pan, place over a high heat and bubble until reduced to a thick sauce that will coat the back of a spoon – this will take around 30 minutes.

Lamb cassoulet

Lower the oven setting to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4.

Score the cut sides of the aubergines, then sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Place the fennel in a large roasting tin and mix with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 1 hour. After 30 minutes, add the tomatoes to the tin.

Meanwhile, cook the potato in boiling salted water for 12-14 minutes or until a knife goes in easily but the wedges hold their shape well. Drain and set aside.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the thyme, bay leaf and a pinch of salt, then add the sweetbreads and return to the boil. Remove the sweetbreads, then return them to their cooking liquid (this keeps them moist while you finish the recipe). Set aside.

Heat a frying pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

When hot, add the aubergines, cut-side down, and cook until golden. Flip the aubergine over, then add the vinegar and 3 tablespoons of water to the pan and cook over a medium heat, until soft.

When the fennel and tomatoes are ready, increase the oven setting to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. Heat the vegetable oil in a large roasting tin set over a medium heat. Add the lamb rack, fat-side down and cook for about 15 minutes, until golden.

Transfer the lamb to the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes for medium-rare, and 18-20 minutes for well done. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes, while you reheat the vegetables and lamb jus.

Heat the lamb jus until piping hot. Place all the vegetables in a saucepan or the pot in which you wish to serve the dish. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon of the lamb jus and reheat gently over a low heat.

To serve

Carve the lamb into cutlets and divide the vegetables between four warmed serving plates. Serve two cutlets per person with the lamb jus poured over the top.

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