Roast Loin of Lamb with Spinach, Tomato & Basil Sauce and Dauphinoise Potatoes

Roast Loin of Lamb with Spinach, Tomato & Basil Sauce and Dauphinoise Potatoes

Introduction

Lamb makes for a roast that you won't want to save for just Sundays

Method

First make your tomato and basil sauce and dauphinoise potatoes; see below. Both can be made the day before.

When you↑re ready to cook the lamb, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

Heat an ovenproof frying pan; add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season the lamb with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place in the pan (you may need 2 pans). Sear until well coloured all over, then add the butter and garlic. When the butter is melted and foaming, baste the lamb with the pan juices. Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes, depending on how pink you like your lamb. The core temperature on a thermoprobe for rare meat will be 37C in the pan; medium rare 40C; well done 44C.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow the meat to relax on a plate or metal tray in a warm place for a minimum of 6 minutes before serving. This is vital, as when the meat cooks, the fibres shrink and force all the juices to the centre. Leaving the meat to relax will allow the juices to re-distribute, making the meat tender and succulent.

Meanwhile, pick over the spinach and wash really well to remove all grit. Spin it dry; there will still be a bit of water on it to help it cook. When you↑re almost ready to serve the lamb, take a wok or large frying pan and place over a high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl it around the pan. Then add the spinach and stir fry quickly until just wilted.

To serve, season the spinach and divide it between four warmed plates. Carve the rested meat into slices and place on top of the spinach. Pour over the sauce and serve with dauphinoise potatoes.

Mise en place: pop your lamb in the oven while you prepare your starter and allow it to rest whilst you eat it. Warm though the dauphinoise and sauce at the same time. All you have to do is cook the spinach, assemble the dish and you↑re ready to go.

To make the Dauphinoise potatoes, preheat the oven to 150°C and generously butter a large ovenproof dish. Put the milk, cream and crushed garlic in a large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Season to taste.

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes on a mandoline (or in a food processor if your machine will take a whole potato). You really can't get these thin enough slicing by hand. Don↑t rinse the potatoes at this stage, or you↑ll wash away vital starch.

Add the potatoes to the pan a few at a time, giving the pan a good shoogle and stir to coat them evenly with the cream and milk to stop the slices sticking together. Press the potatoes down on top making sure they are JUST submerged. Bring the milk back to the boil and simmer on a low heat until the potatoes are almost tender and the potato starch has thickened the milk. This will take about 15 minutes.

Carefully pour the whole lot into the buttered dish leaving behind any slices that have burnt and are caught at the bottom of the pan. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour until nicely browned on top. Serve immediately or leave to cool; it will keep for a day in the fridge.

To reheat, cut the dauphinoise into squares or use a 6cm scone cutter to make rounds. Lift them out of the cutter, place on a buttered tray and pop into the oven at 140°C for around 45 minutes.

Additional Information

Making Dauphinoise potatoes is actually really straightforward and is sure to impress your Sunday guests!

Serves

4

Ingredients

For the lamb
2 tbsp olive oil
4 x 140g loins of lamb (ask the butcher for all the trimmings, including ALL the bones, for the sauce)
Maldon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
30g unsalted butter
2 bruised cloves garlic, skin on

For the spinach
300g spinach leaves
4 tbsp olive oil
Maldon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the dauphinoise potatoes
10g unsalted butter to butter the dish
75ml full cream milk
225ml double cream
1½ garlic cloves, crushed
Maldon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
450g floury potatoes (Red Rooster or Maris Piper)

For the basil and tomato sauce
splash sunflower oil
100g lamb trimmings
½ tbsp unsalted butter
2 shallots, sliced
3 or 4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
8-10 cloves garlic, cut across the equator, skin on
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp tomato puree
tomato pulp (from concasse, see below)
100ml red wine
300g lamb rib bones, roasted
500ml chicken and beef stock (or 500ml of each, reduced down by half)
½ tbsp arrowroot
4 large basil leaves, chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, concasse (skinned, deseeded and chopped into small squares)
1 tsp redcurrant jelly

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