Lamb breast is a fairly inexpensive cut taken from the forequarter. You can buy it boneless but I prefer to buy it with the bone in. The bones can then be used as a trivet in the bottom of the roasting tin.
6 serves / main
- 240g (1⅓ cups) burghul
- 1 lamb breast, bone in (about 1.5 kg)
- 350g minced (ground) lamb
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bunch of coriander (cilantro), leaves finely chopped
- 100g pine nuts, roughly chopped
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- olive oil
Soak the burghul in water for 1 hour. Take a handful of burghul at a time and squeeze out as much water as you can, placing the burghul in a clean bowl as you go.
Lay the lamb breast flat on a chopping board. Using the tip of a very sharp knife, carefully remove the breast bones from the meat, reserving the bones to use as a trivet. Removing the bones is very easily done, so don’t be discouraged.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (Gas 2–3). Place the burghul, minced lamb, onion, garlic and all the spices into a food processor and process the mixture into a paste. Add the coriander, pine nuts and lemon zest and pulse to incorporate the ingredients.
Season the lamb breast with sea salt and then press the minced lamb mixture evenly over the surface of the breast, leaving 2.5cm uncovered at the widest end. Pour a little olive oil over the mince and, starting from the narrow end, roll the breast up and secure with kitchen string. Rub a little more olive oil over the outside of the roll and season with sea salt.
Place the reserved lamb bones in a roasting tin, then place the lamb roll on top. Cook the lamb in the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 140°C (Gas 1) and cook for another 2 hours. Remove the lamb from the oven and roll it up tightly in foil; leave it in a warm place for 15 minutes. If you like, an easy sauce can be made by deglazing the tin with a little white wine and chicken stock.
To serve, slice the lamb roll while it is still in the foil (this keeps the lamb neatly rolled). Place the lamb slices on the plates, then remove and discard the foil and kitchen string.
The Urban Cook, Cooking and Eating for a Sustainable Future
by Mark Jensen,
published by Murdoch Books, $49.99.
First published: July 2011