Nigel Slater’s breast of lamb, peppers and burrata recipe

Tuck in: breast of lamb, peppers, burrata.

Tuck in: breast of lamb, peppers, burrata. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

The recipe

Peel and roughly chop a couple of cloves of garlic. Remove the leaves from about 4 sprigs of rosemary and chop them finely. You will need enough for 2 tbsp. Pick enough thyme leaves from their stalks to fill 2 tbsp then finely chop and mix with the rosemary and garlic. Put the garlic and herbs in a small mixing bowl and stir in a couple of tbsp of olive oil.

Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4. Lay a 500g boned breast of lamb, skin side down, on a board then score deep lines across the meat at 1cm intervals. Rub the herb oil deeply into the lamb, then crumble over a little sea salt. Lay 3 long, thin Romano peppers in a roasting tin, then lay the lamb on top, trickling over any of herb oil that may remain. Bake for 1 hour, basting the meat and peppers once or twice with the roasting juices.

Remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes then transfer to a carving board and slice into finger wide strips with a carving knife. Roughly slice the peppers then tumble them with the meat. Tear a burrata open into a small serving bowl, then pour the roasting juices over it and serve with the lamb and roast peppers. Enough for 2-3.

The trick

The lamb has plenty of fat that will melt deliciously as it slowly roasts. Baste the meat to keep it juicy. Let the lamb rest for a good 10 minutes before you carve it. This is one those dishes that benefits from being eaten warm rather than hot.

The twist

Change the seasoning. Coriander seeds, lightly crushed, and cumin seeds can be added to the thyme and garlic dressing. If using cumin omit the rosemary. The herb oil can also be used to baste roasted red or ripening peppers that could be served with a rice pilaf, the roasting juices trickling through the rice.

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