I can’t put it any other way, but I made this dish because my wife would hate it.
I just know she would battle on regardless and I’d get one of the standard responses I’m used to when thing aren’t to her liking: “that was…..fine” typically.
Or worse, the dreaded: “at least it’s healthy”.
Lamb, peas, anchovies and mint are not a combination she’d enjoy so I had to wait until she was going out so I could make it for myself. I, on the other hand, love this sort of thing.
The dish covers the range of bases with the sweet peas making a great contrast to the salty anchovies. The soft puree works against the crunchy blanched vegetable. It’s very simple, on the face of it, but actually becomes a bit of a balancing act bringing it together in the end. I thoroughly enjoyed it though.
Now I’m just awaiting her next evening out with friends so I can buy some baby squid….
Serves 2 (providing your ‘other’ will eat it).
- 4 good lamb chops – these were local, from a Northumberland farm.
For the minted pea puree:
- 4 handfuls of frozen peas
- 4 mint leaves
- 300ml Vegetable stock (or enough to cover)
- 15g butter
- Salt to taste
For the anchovy sauce
- 6 anchovies
- 1 large garlic clove
- A sprig of rosemary, stalk removed
- Vegetable stock form the peas above
- A little more butter
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large courgette/zucchini
- 6 decent sized Jersey Royal new potatoes.
Heat the oven to 160°C/320°F
Boil a kettle and start the potatoes – they’ll take 15-20 mins. Prepare the courgette and carrot by making them into thin strips using a potato peeler or a mandolin if you’re brave. Leave in water until needed.
Get an oven proof frying with a little oil smoking hot. Season the lamb lightly and fry it until well coloured. Flip them over and seal the other side for about 30 seconds then place the pan in the oven for around 10 minutes if you like it rare (as I do). A kitchen thermometer will help you here.
At the same time, heat the peas in the stock until well heated through Try not to boil them. Drain the stock but keep it to one side.
In a blender, place the peas, butter, good pinch of salt and chopped mint leaf. Blitz and add some stock, a little at a time, until loosened a little. Keep warm.
By now the potatoes should be done (or nearly done) Take them out the pan and set aside. They’ll need to cool down a bit anyway.
In the same water, blanch the vegetables for just a minute or two. Set aside with the potato to keep warm.
Once the lamb is done, turn the oven off and open the door to cool it down. Wrap the lamb in foil to rest. You may want to use it to keep everything warm whilst you finish the sauce:
In the lamb frying pan, add a little more oil if needed and fry the garlic gently for a minute or two. Add the anchovies and stir them around until they form a pulp.
Add the rosemary and the reserved stock. Gently reduce by half. Taste but you shouldn’t need to season it. Stir in the butter to melt.
Serve it all up with a nice ‘big’ Rioja if you have some. Lovely.