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Crown roast of lamb

ingredients

serves 6 — 8
2 best end joints, each with 6 — 8 cutlets
salt
freshly ground black pepper
30 ml (2 tbsp) fresh rosemary, crushed
25 g (1 oz) butter
watercress, to garnish
1 segmented orange, to garnish

for the stuffing

425 g (15 oz) canned apricot halves, drained
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
225 g (8 oz) cooked rice
100 g (4 oz) white breadcrumbs
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
salt
freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Bring the best ends to room temperature. Cut off the skin from the best ends, then trim the meat from the tops of the bones, scraping them clean with a knife. Weigh the joints and calculate the cooking time at 44 min per kg (20 min per lb).

2. Sew one end of each joint together, sewing around the last bone of each joint. Stand the tied joints upright and bend them round until the other ends meet. Stitch these together to form a crown. Then tie around the base to hold the crown in shape. Season the lamb inside and out with salt and pepper and sprinkle a little of the rosemary inside. Heat the oven to 190C /375F /gas 5.

3. Reserve 12 apricot halves. Chop the rest and mix with the rest of the stuffing ingredients; season with salt and pepper.

4. In a roasting tin, melt the butter with the rest of the rosemary, then place the lamb in the tin. Spoon the stuffing loosely into centre of the crown. Cover bone ends with foil and roast for the calculated time, basting occasionally and covering stuffing with foil if it becomes too brown.

5. Place the lamb on a warmed serving dish. Remove string and foil and place cutlet frills on the bones. Leave to settle in a warm place for 10 — 15 minutes, then garnish with apricots, watercress and orange segments.

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