- 12 baby carrot
- 12 baby turnip
Turnips are creamy-white with a lovely purple, red or greenish upper part where the taproot has…
- 12 baby leek
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- 80g pea, frozen are fine
A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…
- 120g podded broad bean, skinned
A member of the legume family, broad beans are pretty hardy and adaptable - they grow in most…
- 12 pearl onion or small shallots, peeled, see tips below
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 2 lamb fillets, about 700g in total, see tips below
A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 300ml light red wine, such as Beaujolais
- 300ml fresh chicken stock
- 50g cold butter, cut into small pieces
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- bunch tarragon, leaves picked and chopped and few left whole
A popular and versatile herb, tarragon has an intense flavour that's a unique mix of sweet…
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…
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Trim all the veg and peel the carrots. Boil a large pan of water and have a bowl of heavily iced water ready. Working in batches, cook the turnips for 3 mins, scoop into the iced water, then scoop out to drain. Repeat the process, cooking the carrots for 4 mins, the leeks for 5 mins, the peas and broad beans together for 1 min and finally the onions for 8-10 mins. Use a clean cloth to rub the skins off the turnips. Put all the vegetables in separate piles on a plate. TIP: Use the timings for cooking the baby vegetables only as a guideline, as they can vary in size. To be sure the vegetables are cooked properly, add a few more than the required amount to the water for you to test as they cook.
Slice the lamb fillets into finger-thick pieces, then season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan, then fry the lamb pieces for 2 mins on each side for rare or 3 mins on each side for medium. Tip the lamb into a colander with a bowl underneath to catch the juices, then leave in a warm place. TIP: When you cook lots of pieces of meat together, place them in the pan like points on a clock face – this makes it easy to remember which needs turning and removing from the pan first.
Place the pan back on the heat and tip in the wine. Boil vigorously until reduced to a sticky syrup, then pour in 200ml of the chicken stock and any lamb juices from the bowl. Boil down until reduced by about half, then whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the chopped tarragon. Pour the sauce into a small bowl, then wipe out the pan with kitchen paper.
Heat a drizzle of oil and add the turnips and onions. Sizzle until starting to brown, then sprinkle over the sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook, shaking the pan constantly, until the veg are caramelised. Add carrots, leeks and balsamic, bubble for a moment, then add the stock. Bring to the boil, add the peas and broad beans, then boil for a few mins until all the liquid has nearly evaporated. Turn off heat.
To serve, dress each bowl by placing a few pieces of lamb on the base, spooning the smaller vegetables around the lamb and balancing the carrots and leeks on top. Pour the hot sauce over everything, scatter with tarragon leaves and finally drizzle with olive oil.
Make it in winter
You can make a winter version of this dish using venison fillet instead of lamb, cubes of root vegetables instead of spring vegetables and fresh thyme leaves instead of tarragon.
To get ahead, you can slice the lamb a day ahead, and boil the vegetables and refresh them in cold water. Keep everything covered and chilled, then just pan-fry on the day.
Peeling baby onions or shallots can be fiddly. To make the skins slip off easily, soak them in boiling water from a kettle for a few minutes, then drain and leave until cool enough to handle.
I would always recommend using fresh vegetables with the exception of peas. Frozen peas are sweeter than fresh as they are frozen a few hours after picking (peas start to lose their sweetness from the moment they are picked). The only thing that is better than using frozen peas is using freshly picked ones from the garden.
Fillet of lamb
The best cut of lamb for this recipe is the fillet – the eye of meat from the boned loin or saddle. As this is one of the most tender cuts of lamb, it is also one of the most expensive. For a cheaper alternative you can use lamb neck fillets, but cook them for a minute longer.