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Glazed saddle of lamb

This cold lamb dish makes a spectacular centrepiece for a big family occasion, or when you have a crowd of friends round in the summer. The recipe tells you how to garnish and present the saddle of lamb so that it looks as well as tastes its very best.

ingredients

serves 8 - 10
3.2 kg (7 lb) saddle of lamb
salt and freshly ground black pepper
25 g (1 oz) butter, softened
30 ml (2 tbsp) redcurrant jelly
50 ml (2 fl oz) port
75 ml (3 fl oz) dry white wine
2 shallots, finely chopped
grated zest of 1/2 orange
grated zest of 1/2 lemon

to serve

1 kg /2 lb cold, cooked new potatoes
45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) wine vinegar
225 g (8 oz) cold, cooked green beans
15 ml (1 tbsp) finely chopped parsley
sprigs of fresh mint

method

1. Ask the butcher to remove the tough outer skin from the saddle. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator about 2 hours before you intend to roast it to allow it to come to room temperature.

2. Heat the oven to 220C /425F /gas 7.

3. Place the saddle of lamb on a rack in a roasting tin. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and spread with the softened butter. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 170C /325F / gas 3 and cook the lamb for a further 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

4. When cold, remove the meat carefully from the bone in 2 long fillets; use a sharp knife to do this, following the shape of the bones carefully. Trim the fat from the top of each one right down to the meat. Leave the outer edge with its fat to add flavour. Cut each fillet into 8 diagonal slices.

5. Replace the slices on the bone upside- down, so that the fat is underneath and the slices stand almost upright along each side of the backbone.

6. In a saucepan, combine the redcurrant jelly, port and white wine with the finely chopped shallot and grated zest from the orange and lemon. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes or until it is syrupy. Spoon the glaze over the meat.

7. Place the saddle on an oval serving platter and put the cold new potatoes at each end of the meat.

8. Just before serving, beat together the oil and vinegar to form an emulsion, pour over the green beans and toss until well coated. Arrange the beans in piles on either side of the saddle. Sprinkle the potatoes with finely chopped parsley and garnish the saddle with sprigs of fresh mint. Serve at once.

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