Lamb salad with redcurrants

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I don't normally get off on meat and fruit combos, but some fruits do have an affinity with meat - apples with pork and orange with duck, for example. Redcurrant jelly goes with roast lamb, of course, but these currants look better than they taste, and there's not a lot else you can do with them apart from adding a few to a summer pudding. I thought combining these acidic berries with lamb in a salad would make a nice change for a hot summer's day. For this recipe the cut I'd use would be the fillets under the saddle, as they cook in a couple of minutes and just melt in your mouth. You only get two small fillets of about 100g each per animal, so your butcher may not have them. The trimmed eye of meat from the best end or saddle, or even the rump, will work well instead - although either of these will take a little longer to cook.

I don't normally get off on meat and fruit combos, but some fruits do have an affinity with meat - apples with pork and orange with duck, for example. Redcurrant jelly goes with roast lamb, of course, but these currants look better than they taste, and there's not a lot else you can do with them apart from adding a few to a summer pudding. I thought combining these acidic berries with lamb in a salad would make a nice change for a hot summer's day. For this recipe the cut I'd use would be the fillets under the saddle, as they cook in a couple of minutes and just melt in your mouth. You only get two small fillets of about 100g each per animal, so your butcher may not have them. The trimmed eye of meat from the best end or saddle, or even the rump, will work well instead - although either of these will take a little longer to cook.

8 lamb under fillets or alternative cuts (as above) weighing 250-280g each
60-80g extra fine French beans, cooked in boiling salted water for 3 minutes and drained
60-80g corn salad (lambs lettuce) or similar
40g redcurrants, removed from the stalks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

for the dressing

1tbsp good quality red wine vinegar, such as cabernet sauvignon
5tbsp olive oil

If you can't get really fine French beans you can tear thicker ones in half lengthways down the natural seam to make the salad a little more delicate. Season the lamb fillets, heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan until almost smoking and fry them for about 1 minute on each side, then transfer to a plate to catch any juices.

Whisk the vinegar, oil and lamb juices together and season. Put the corn salad, beans and redcurrants into a bowl and toss with half of the dressing, then arrange on four plates. Slice the lamb thinly and arrange the slices on the salad then scatter over the redcurrants.

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