<preform>Roast Lamb with Mint Jelly & Lavender</preform>

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

"Lavender, like rosemary, gives an amazing aroma to lamb and the mint jelly adds a summery feel. Decide which cut you use, but best end (rack) is tender, looks terrific and carves easily. Make the mint jelly in advance and keep for a few months in the fridge."

"Lavender, like rosemary, gives an amazing aroma to lamb and the mint jelly adds a summery feel. Decide which cut you use, but best end (rack) is tender, looks terrific and carves easily. Make the mint jelly in advance and keep for a few months in the fridge."

2 best ends (racks) of lamb, French trimmed, each 400-450g (14oz-1lb)
Few sprigs of lavender
1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pan gravy, optional, to serve

For the mint jelly

2kg (4 1/2lb cooking apples
300ml ( 1/2 pint) cider vinegar
25g (1oz) mint leaves
About 300g (11oz) preserving or granulated sugar
10 sheets leaf gelatine

Make the mint jelly two days ahead. Chop the apples with the peel and cores. Put in a saucepan with 1 litre (1 3/4 pints) water, boil then simmer for 40 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for 5 minutes. Tip the contents of the pan into a jelly bag or muslin lined colander and leave to drip for about 4 hours or overnight.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and dip the mint leaves in for two seconds. Drain, refresh under cold running water, then dry. Finely chop the leaves. Add 100g (3 1/2oz) sugar for every 100ml (3 1/2fl oz) of apple liquid. Pour the liquid into a pan, add the sugar and stir on a low heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Cover and soak the gelatine in cold water for a few minutes to soften, squeeze out excess liquid. Remove the apple syrup from the heat, add the gelatine, stirring to dissolve, then add mint. Pour into sterilised jars, store in a cool dark place, or refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Make 8-10 incisions in the fat on the lamb, about 1cm ( 1/2 inch) deep. Put a sprig of lavender and a slice of garlic into each slit and season with salt and pepper. Pour the oil into a shallow roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Put the lamb in the tin, fat side down, and roast for 15 minutes, turn it over and cook for another 15 minutes for pink meat; 25 minutes for medium; 30 minutes for well done. Once cooked make a gravy with the juices. Serve with mint jelly and gravy.

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