Roasted Spring Lamb with Stilton and Raspberry Sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: Approx 1 hour, depending on size of lamb joint
This dish nicely combines the different parts of Leicestershire. Stilton came from the east of the county where cows were grazed on the lush, damp grazing of the clay lowlands. The lamb comes from the west where sheep munched the rougher upland pastures. And every good country garden had a few raspberry canes in the fruit patch somewhere. Conveniently the raspberries ripened at the same time of year as the lambs got to a good size for slaughtering. These days, lamb is available year round and frozen raspberries work as well as fresh. Stuffing the joint of lamb will make it easier to carve, and will add a smashing good flavour to the meat. This recipe works equally well with shoulder of lamb, which is rather cheaper than the leg but just as succulent. Your butcher will happily bone the joint for you before you take it home.
5 spring onions, chopped
2 tsp white wine vinegar
4oz fresh white breadcrumbs
2oz blue Stilton cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp ground hazelnuts
8oz fresh or frozen raspberries
A leg of lamb, boned
4 tbsp red wine
11fl oz chicken stock
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Cook the spring onions lightly in the butter to soften, add the vinegar and set aside.
Stir the bread crumbs into the onion mixture
Add the Stilton, hazelnuts, half the raspberries and seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 200 C or Gas Mark 6.
Open the joint of lamb flat and season well.
Spoon in the stuffing, then roll up the meat and tie with string.
Place the lamb in a roasting pan and cook, allowing 15 minutes per pound, boned weight.
When the lamb is cooked, transfer to a warm plate, cover and allow to rest.
Meanwhile, simmer the wine, chicken stock and mustard in a saucepan.
Add the juices from the roasting tin and bring to the boil.
Combine the cornflour with 2 tsp of cold water and add to the gravy to thicken.
At the last moment, add the remaining raspberries.
Place the lamb on a carving dish, the gravy in a large jug and serve.
This is an extract from Leicestershire Food and Drink by Rupert Matthews