More and more recently, I’m finding we’re becoming a two-dinner family. The boys are both busy with college, and both have a part-time job, so it’s often just Mr E and I for dinner. If we’re dining a deux, I’m a bit prone to just grill salmon or bake chicken and serve it with rice and veggies, so I was delighted for a bit of inspiration in the form of these lovely little mini roasts. This one is pistachio and orange crusted lamb and it was so delicious, and it felt so decadent eating it midweek too – like a stay at home date night!
I’m quite picky when choosing my meat. I like free range chicken and good quality beef and lamb (one thing to look out for is a quality mark like the Red Tractor logo, meaning that the meat is traceable from the farm to your plate). Red Tractor have published loads of these mini roasts recipes, which are perfect for two or three to share and are so easy – basically you just do a bit of twiddling, then bung them in the oven and they’re ready. You can find the mini joints in M&S, Waitrose and some butchers (find your nearest store here). On to the recipe, then:
Pistachio and orange crusted lamb mini roast
You will need:
1 x 400-450g lean lamb mini roast
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the pistachio and orange crust:
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
50g pistachio nut kernels, finely chopped
Large handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Large bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
So first, preheat the oven to gas 4-5, 180-190°C, 350-375°F.
To prepare the crust, just mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl (I found it was easier to crush the pistachios with a pestle and mortar).
Next up, lace the joint on a chopping board and make several slashes across it. Brush with a tablespoon of oil, season, then press the pistachio mixture over the surface of the lamb to create the crust.
Pop your pistachio and orange crusted lamb masterpiece into a non-stick roasting tin and roast for 25-30 minutes for medium or 30-45 if you like it well done. Cover with foil if you find it’s browning too quickly.
Remove the joint from the oven, transfer to a warm plate, cover and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes, longer if time allows.
This lovely roast lends itself to serving with some couscous (I’ve added my recipe below – feel free to customise!) and maybe some flatbreads, but as we’ve found, it’s also delicious sliced and stuffed into baguettes with rocket and a dollop of mayo (I know, such heathens).
For the fruity couscous:
300ml chicken or lamb stock (cube is fine)
Large handful of chopped herbs
Whatever fruits/nuts you have available
Place the couscous in a bowl and add in a couple of slices of lemon peel (I just peel it off with a vegetable peeler) and a handful of dried cranberries (I like them to soften a bit in the heat).
Pour over the boiling stock and cover the bowl with a plate.
When you’re ready to serve, fluff up the couscous with a fork, season well, squeeze over half the lemon and stir in a big handful of chopped herbs (again, whatever you have – I use coriander and mint), plus maybe some almonds or pistachios, pomegranate seeds (cut the pomegranate in half, hold cut side towards your fingers and bash the outside with a wooden spoon), golden sultanas or chopped dried apricots.
For everything you need to know about beef and lamb, more recipe ideas and information about Red Tractor beef and lamb, please visit www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk