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Rolled lamb breast with herbs, lemon and tomatoes

An under-rated cut, lamb breast comes from the same part of the animal as belly pork, which we know and love. Cooked well, it is tasty and tender, so give it a go. You need breasts from a decent-sized animal – consider asking your butcher for hogget breasts, which will be larger and meatier.


Take the lamb out of the fridge around 30 minutes before cooking, to bring it to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 230°C/220°C Fan/Gas 8. Put the tomatoes, tomato purée, lemon zest and juice, garlic and herbs into a bowl, mix together well and season with salt and pepper.

Lay the lamb breast out flat, flesh side up, on a clean surface. Smear the tomato mixture evenly all over the surface to cover generously. Starting from a short side, roll up the lamb to form a fat roll. Tie securely with butcher’s string every 2–3cm, then season the outside with salt and pepper.

Place the rolled lamb breast in a roasting tray and roast

in the oven for about 30 minutes until deep golden brown on the outside. Add a glass of water to the tray and lower the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/Gas 3. Roast the lamb for a further 2 hours until the meat is tender.

Now turn the oven up to 230°C/220°C Fan/Gas 8 for 15 minutes to crisp up the outside of the lamb.

Take the tray from the oven and leave the lamb to rest in a warm place for 5–10 minutes, then remove the string and carve into slices. I like to serve it with Five-root bash (page 207) and/or Roast purple sprouting broccoli with kimchi butter (page 175).


For something a bit different, try stuffing the lamb with a mixture of black pudding and gooseberries.

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2 lamb or hogget breasts (about 500g each)

4 ripe tomatoes, chopped into 1cm pieces

2 tbsp tomato purée

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped A small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped 3 sprigs of mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped

A small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Great Roasts