Rosemary-skewered lamb fillets with peperonata

Main course: Serves 4
Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Another good barbecue dish this, and it cooks in minutes. Peperonata is a delicious sauce of stewed peppers and tomatoes that goes well with fish, meat or poultry. Because everything's stewed together, canned red peppers that are already skinned work equally well. Peeling raw peppers can be a bit tedious unless you buy the thick-fleshed variety which you can peel with a potato peeler. Lamb fillets are the small, lean pieces of meat tucked under the ribs of the saddle. You do see them in packets in supermarkets or ask your butcher to save them for you next time he is preparing saddles. If you don't have a handy rosemary bush (your own or a neighbour's) to grab a few stems from, buy a bunch or a packet and keep the stripped-off leaves in olive oil in a sealed container in the fridge. The oil can be used for flavouring dressings and the leaves for roasts or roast potatoes with Parmesan and rosemary.

8 or 12 lamb fillets (depending on weight; allow around 150g of meat per person)
12 sticks of rosemary
For the peperonata
1 small onion, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
a few sprigs of oregano or thyme, stalks removed and leaves chopped
90ml olive oil
3 thick-fleshed red peppers or a 350-400g can of red peppers (sometimes labelled pimentos)
200-250g can chopped tomatoes

First make the peperonata. If you are using fresh peppers, peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler, but don't take off too much flesh. Cut the pepper in half, scoop out the seeds and remove the stalk, then cut the flesh into rough 1cm dice. If using canned peppers, drain and rinse them under cold water and cut into rough 1cm dice.
In a thick-bottomed saucepan, gently cook the onion, garlic and oregano in the olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Add the peppers, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook with a lid on for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook on a very low heat with a lid for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile strip the leaves from the rosemary stems, leaving a sprig of leaves at the top. Push the stalks, thick end first, through the lamb fillets lengthways, until the meat is up to the leaves. Trim the thick end with some scissors or a knife.
Preheat a barbecue, griddle or cast-iron frying pan. Lightly brush the fillets with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
Spoon some peperonata on to a plate and criss cross the fillets on top.