Grilled lamb cutlets with butternut squash and broad bean relish

Main course. Serves four
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Indy Lifestyle Online


Although lamb is the staple meat in the Middle East, back home you can't beat our own, tender English lamb. It's worth trying some of the rarer breeds. I recently visited Jane Kallaway's Langley Chase estate in Wiltshire (01249 750095, www.langleychase.co.uk) where she breeds organic Manx Loghtan lambs. These wild-looking, goat-like, animals taste delicious, and you can have the meat delivered to your door.

This recipe is inspired by the colourful conical displays of spices I saw in the outdoor markets in Kuwait.

12 lamb cutlets, French trimmed, or 8 lamb chops
700-800g butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
60ml olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
Half tsp sesame seeds
A good pinch of ground cinnamon
A good pinch of ground cumin
A good pinch of paprika
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped
For the broad bean relish
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
A piece of fresh root ginger (about 20g), peeled and finely chopped
1tsp ground cumin
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
240g shelled weight of fresh or frozen broad beans
20g tomato purée
100ml water
salt and pepper
A few sprigs of mint, leaves removed and chopped
A few sprigs of coriander, chopped

First make the broad bean relish. If using fresh broad beans, cook them in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes, then drain and run them under cold water for a minute or so. Remove the skins if they're tough. (Don't blanch if you're using frozen beans but defrost, then skin.) Fry the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger and cumin slowly in the olive oil until soft. Add the broad beans and tomato purée and season with salt and pepper. Add the water. Simmer gently with a lid for 8-10 minutes. Check it from time to time and add a little more water if it seems too dry. When it is cooked, the relish will have a nice red oily appearance. Add the mint and coriander to the relish and remove the pan from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 430°F/220°C/gas mark 7. Cut the butternut squash into rough 3-4 cm pieces. Heat a roasting tray in the oven with the olive oil. Add the squash, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, sesame seeds, spices and thyme, stir well and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

If your kitchen is equipped with a charcoal grill, this is the moment you've been waiting for, otherwise heat a large thick-bottomed frying pan or ribbed griddle pan (I'd always recommend having one of these). Under the grill would be my last choice of cooking method, as it tends to boil the meat and not retain the juices. Season the cutlets with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side for pink or a couple more for medium-rare meat.

To serve, arrange the squash in a pile on the plate and lay the cutlets on top. Spoon the relish around or serve separately.

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