Sticky Lamb Chops with Pickled Beets, Minty Jersey Royals and Cauliflower Puree

I am so happy that we are into Jersey Royal season, they are officially the best potatoes! You know that Summer is on its way when the potato isles are full of these muddy little beauties (even if it is cold and wet outside), and I for one am taking full advantage of this! I wanted to make a recipe where they would really be the star, but if I’m totally honest; being the lead in this dish is quite a challenge. As much as I LOVE the minty, crispy Jersey Royal potato cake; how could I choose that over some deliciously sticky lamb chops or creamy cauliflower puree; not the mention the tangy beets and the caramelised fennel that really top this recipe off. This dish really is a winner in its own right, where every element is so damn delicious that you will want it on your menu every day!

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For the pickled beets

  • 2 beetroots – topped and tailed and boiled for half an hour
  • 1 small white onion – peeled and very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp chopped dill

For the lamb chops

  • 4 lamb chops
  • Handful mint – finely chopped
  • Handful coriander – finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp apple and mint jelly (or mint jelly if you can’t find apple and mint – my granny made mine)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

For the Jersey Royals

  • 8 Jersey Royals – halved and boiled until soft in the remaining beetroot water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mint sauce
  • Salt and pepper

For the cauliflower puree

  • 1 small white onion – peeled and finely chopped
  • 150g cauliflower – broken into florets
  • 30g butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Milk

To serve

  • Fresh asparagus – steamed for 3-4 minutes
  • 1 fennel bulb – halved and boiled for 15 minutes

Pre-heat the oven to 200’C

Peel and slice your cooked beetroots into segments

Toss the beetroot together with the marinade ingredients and leave to marinate for at least an hour – ideally overnight. – 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, place in the heated oven to warm through.

Mix together the ingredients for the lamb marinade and pour this over the lamb chops.

Leave to marinade for at least half an hour.

Toss the potatoes in the oil with the mint sauce and the salt and pepper and squash into two moulds.

Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes until crisp

To make the cauliflower puree, heat half the butter in a small saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft.

Add the cauliflower to the pan and then pour in the milk to just cover the cauli.

Add the bay leaves and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cauli is soft.

Strain the milk (save this for a white sauce pasta bake the next day).

Discard the bay leaves and whiz the cauliflower into a puree.

Pass the puree through a sieve back into the saucepan and return to a very low heat.

Stir in the remaining butter and season to taste; keep this warm until ready to plate up – or re-heat at the last minute.

When your elements are prepped, heat a griddle pan to a medium to high temperature and fry the lamb chops for 3 minutes on each side, brushing with the remaining sticky minty mixture half way through – leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving – I would suggest adding the fennel bulbs to the griddle to finish off.

Plate up all your ingredients and enjoy.

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