Slow-cooked breast of lamb, spiced squash, cavolo nero and toasted hazelnuts

Serves 4.  Recipe supplied by Jack, head-chef at The Preston Park Tavern in Brighton


If you don't have time to make this yourself at home, then let Jack and his team cook it for you at The Preston Park Tavern this autumn.  If you want to bring along a bottle of our current wine of the month - Cotes du Rhone 2009 La Ferme du Mont - you won't be charged corkage!  This offer is valid for bookings in October 2011 and is limited to one bottle per couple.  Please quote "elwood wines corkage offer" when you make your booking on 01273 542271. Enjoy a great meal and save a few quid on a delicious bottle of wine!

Here's the recipe.

For the Lamb


  • 2 lamb breasts, deboned (ask your butcher to do this and keep the bones)
  • Garlic puree.
  • Chopped parsley, rosemary, thyme and mint
  • Black Pepper
  • Butchers Twine
  • Chicken stock (enough to cover)


  1. Lay out the lamb breasts, bone side up.
  2. Spread the garlic puree thinly over the entire surface.
  3. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs, and season with the pepper.
  4.  oll the breasts up, lengthways, and tie with the butchers twine. No special knots required, just tie them 3 or 4 times to help them keep their shape.
  5. Place in a oven proof pot and cover with chicken stock. Bring to boil on the stove and then place in a 150C oven for 4 hours.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for an hour or so in the liquids. Remove, take the string off, and then wrap tightly in clingfilm, creating a cylinder shape. Tie off the ends of the clingfilm, to ensure the lamb keeps its shape, and chill in fridge overnight.


For the lamb jus 


  • Lamb breast cooking liquids.
  • Lamb breast bones, (chopped)
  • 1 onion, 1 celery stick, 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each of coriander seed, clove, black pepper corn, and 1 star anise
  • 1 sprig of rosemary, thyme, one bay leaf and a couple of parsley stalks
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • Large glass of white wine
  • Salt and sherry vinegar to taste


  1. Roast the bones at 180C for 1 hour.
  2. In a pot, fry over high heat the vegetables, spices, and herbs, until lightly caramelized.
  3. Add the tomato puree, and stir, cooking for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the roasted bones, and the white wine. Cook until wine has evaporated.
  5. Pour all the lamb breast cooking liquids into the pot, and bring up to the boil, skimming any scum that comes to the surface.
  6. Simmer for 1½ hours.
  7. Strain sauce through fine sieve and into another smaller pot and bring back to the boil.
  8. Reduce to desired consistency. You are looking for a rich, flavourful sauce, but not too thick and cloying.
  9. Adjust sauce to taste with salt and vinegar. A fairly acidic sauce here is good for cutting through the fatty lamb breast and sweet squash.
  10. Set aside.


For the squash.


  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon five spice
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Chopped thyme and rosemary
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 70 grams butter


  1. Peel, quarter, and de-seed the squash.
  2. In an oven proof pan melt the butter and add the spices and herbs.
  3. Then add the squash, and season with the salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the squash over medium heat turning once every side has a nice golden red colour.
  5. Place pan in the oven, and cook at 170C until the squash is soft
  6. Remove squash from pan and set aside.


For the hazelnuts. 


  • 100g hazelnuts
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt 


  1. Shallow fry the hazelnuts in the oil over medium to low heat.
  2. Keep moving pan around to ensure even colour.
  3. Once golden all over, strain the nuts and place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat.
  4. Season immediately with salt.
  5. Once cooled, roughly chop.


For the cavolo nero.


  • 1 bunch cavolo nero
  • Salted boiling water
  • Small knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Trim the centre stalk from the cavolo nero leaves
  2. Add to large pot of boiling salted water, and cook for 2½ minutes.
  3. Remove from water, and toss in melted butter.
  4. Season with melted butter.


To Finish: 

  1. Cut lamb breast cylinders in half lenthways, and fry cut side down, over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes until caramelized and crisp.
  2. Turn and place in 175C oven for 5 - 7 minutes until hot through.
  3. Ensure the squash, cavolo nero, and sauce are all hot, and then arrange on plate. Make sure you pour a fair amount of sauce on the lamb itself, and then season with maldon salt.
  4. Grate fresh nutmeg over the plate, and serve.

This has been matched with our current wine of the month, Cotes du Rhone 1er Cote 2009, La Ferme du Mont, but will work equally well with other wines red from the Rhone Valley, a decent red Burgundy or why not try with a Piedmontes red, like a Barolo or Barbaresco.  Please call Karl on 01273 242535 if you would like any recommendations.


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