Lamb Sampler

It’s Spring! No really, it really is. Mind you sitting here right now in conditions that can only be described as ‘shite’, I’m wondering whether spring has already given up, summer won’t bother (again) and we’ll just go straight into autumn.

Nevertheless, in a desperate attempt to remain optimistic I decided to do something seasonal – lamb! However I wasn’t really in the mood for a big plate of meat and vegetables so I decided to do a taster plate.

Little samplers of lamb served with various sauce/condiment creations. I started with a leg of lamb and a lamb fillet and took it from there…


Sample 1

Slow-Cooked Leg of Lamb with a Madeira Sauce


Sample 2

Marinated Lamb fillet on a bed of mashed butter beans


Sample 3

Marinated Lamb fillet on a bed of onion puree


For the Leg of Lamb you will need

  • 1 leg of lamb (duh!)
  • 1 big carrot
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 onion
  • Big bunch parsley
  • Bouquet garni
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • ½ bottle white wine
  • ½ pint vegetable stock
  • a good glug of madeira wine (and I do mean good)

First brown the lamb, whole, in a casserole in some oil for about 10 mins, turning regularly. Remove from the pot and set aside.


Add the chopped veg and herbs to the pan and fry for 10 mins until they start to soften.


Return the meat to the pan and add the honey and wine and stock.


Bring to the boil then put in the oven at 150 centigrade for about 2 to 2 ½ hours

Remove from the oven. The meat will fall off the bone – take the meat out carefully so that it doesn’t break up too much and set aside, leaving the bone in the pot with the vegetables.


Add some more wine and stock and leave to simmer.

After twenty minutes, remove the bones and strain the pot contents through a sieve. Return the liquid to a clean pan.


Add half a bottle of madeira wine and simmer until the sauce thickens to a consistency of your liking. Ten minutes before the sauce is ready and you want to serve, add the lamb back in and warm though as the sauce thickens.


For the Lamb fillet served with butter bean mash and onion puree you will need:

The lamb:

  • 1 lamb neck fillet
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • ½ glass madeira wine (or port, or sherry)
  • ½ pint of chicken stock

For the onion puree

  • 2 white onions
  • Knob butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the butter bean mash

  • 1 tin butter beans
  • splash of milk
  • small knob of butter
  • salt and pepper

Slice the lamb into chunks and place in a container. Mix in the stock, wine and mustard, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour.


Chop up the onion and gently fry for 10 mins in the butter, sugar and salt.


Once softened whizz with a hand blender. Heat up the beans, drain off the liquid and then whizz or mash with the milk, butter and seasoning.

Get a large saucepan and heat up with a bit of oil until its smoking. Fry the lamb quickly, turning (about 4 mins for medium rare lamb).


To serve place a piece of the lamb leg meat in one corner of a large plate. Drizzle some of the sauce over it.

Place a spoonful of onion puree on the plate and top with a piece of lamb fillet. Place a dollop of butter beans in the other corner and top with another lump of lamb fillet.

Finally garnish with redcurrant jelly and mint leaves. Or anything else that takes your fancy.


What was best? Well I do like a nice bit of fillet – especially rare like this version:


So Lamb Sampler – a way to eat lamb without bothering with vegetables…


40 thoughts on “Lamb Sampler

  1. That looks so yummy! I will make this my go to blog for lamb. I have to tell you though, I have orange iron pot envy. I have an orange one just like yours, from Good ol’ sainsbury’s though. Is an upgrade to La Creuset in order? Perhaps this burning orange jealousy will not leave me till I acquire one because I MUST HAVE it. Hmmm, what can I throw away to make space?

  2. I really miss lamb. lamb in Italy taste like goat, and goat is one of the many beasts that Mrs Sensible has fed me with.

    When I fly to the UK I always eat some of the important dishes that are not available in Italy, lamb, KFC Indian and traditional Sunday dinners, plus fish and chips.

    • You know I was going to put 1/2 but in wordpress it doesn’t seem to want to turn into a fraction the way it does in Microsoft Word – usually I write the post in word and then copy it in. But for me a good glug does generally equate to half a bottle?

  3. Very impressive indeed. I particularly like the way you did the leg. I am planning to retry a lamb dish I did about 7 years ago. It was, like the English weather, pretty shite back then. Hopefully, I can improve it. It does involve two 8 hour marinade sessions. That is a long time to wait for crappy lamb. Here’s hoping….

  4. Yes, climatologists have a new year-round season for the UK – Sprinter. All the fun of April showers with the freezing temperatures of winter! All of these look brilliant, but I’m drawn to the leg of lamb with Madeira Sauce, that looks beautifully rich….

  5. I was wondering if you would give us your favorite & have to say I’d probably go with that fillet if I could only chose one. Of course if you ever want a taste tester & I’m in the area, I would be happy to help you out.

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