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recipe idea for Almond Crusted Lamb Cutlets

NOTE : The AA Home Cooking Competition 2009 is now closed for entries. Please come back and see us next year. You may also view the competition results page for the details of the winning entry.


Almond-crusted lamb cutlets with braised fennel, confit shallot and apricot and raisin purée

6-bone rack of lamb, French trimmed
100g breadcrumbs
125g butter
olive oil
bunch of parsley
8 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2 small heads of fennel, trimmed and halved, cores removed
275ml of good chicken stock
glass of white wine
12 shallots
120g almonds
80g dried apricots
80g raisins

Preheat oven 220º to 230ºC.

Prepare the almond crust by mixing the toasted almonds, breadcrumbs, 50g butter, dash of olive oil, two cloves of garlic, a handful of parsley, salt and pepper together in a food processor until you have a coarse paste.

Cover the lamb racks with Dijon mustard and cover the lamb with the crust.

Roast the lamb for 10 to 15 minutes, before turning the temperature down to 160º for approximately 30 minutes for very pink lamb, 40 for slightly pink. Remember to let the meat rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Place the trimmed fennel in a oven dish, with a dash of olive oil and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove, place in a saucepan with the chicken stock and braise for 30 minutes or so. Just before serving, prepare a glaze by reducing the stock and adding a little butter.

Meanwhile, finely slice the shallots and place in a saucepan with a little white wine and a knob of butter and slowly caramelise until the lamb is ready, ensuring it doesn't burn or dry. Add a little butter before serving.

To make the purée, soak the apricots on raisins in hot water until they swell, remove and blend into a smooth purée, adding a little butter.

To serve, carve the lamb into portions of three cutlets per person.

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