DAVID SMITH: Crumbs! It’s a show-stopping topping for lamb

Herb-crusted saddle of lamb
Herb-crusted saddle of lamb

Take some bread and fresh herbs, throw in a handful of parmesan and you have a flavour-packed topping for meat or fish. Senior sous chef David Smith at the Arora Hotel in Crawley gets clever with crumbs.

Everyone needs a little chef trick up their sleeves for when they want to impress guests. And this one couldn’t be simpler.

David Smith

David Smith

It’s a fresh herb crust that can be frozen and then cut to fit the shape of meat or fish you are planning to serve. How easy is that?

A herb crumb adds colour, texture and flavour to most red meat and fish. Change the type of herb to suit. So, for fish, swap the rosemary for dill.

We’ve topped a new season British saddle of lamb with a rosemary and parsley crumb. The crunch of the crumb is a perfect contrast to the sweet tender meat. Here at The Grill, we serve it with baby vegetables, British asparagus and an asparagus and spinach velouté.

But your guests will be just as impressed if you serve it with a salad – the herb crust and succulent meat will steal the show.

l The Grill in the Arora is Crawley’s only AA-rosette restaurant. To book, phone 01293 530000. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook Arora Hotel Gatwick Crawley. Share your favourite herb dishes with us on Instagram by tagging @aroragatwick.

Visit www.gatwick.arorahotels.com.

Herb-crusted saddle of lamb

Serves 4

650g saddle of lamb

30g chopped fresh parsley

30g grated parmesan

30g fresh breadcrumbs

Few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped.

1 tab of olive oil for frying,

Method

To make the herb crumb, whiz the parsley, parmesan, breadcrumbs and rosemary in a blender until it resembles fine crumbs. Don’t over blend as it will stick together.

If you want to freeze it now, lay a sheet of clingfilm on a flat surface and sprinkle over the herb crumb. Place another sheet of clingfilm on top and use a rolling pin to roll it flat. Place in a freezer.

When you need to use it, cut out sections while still frozen to fit the cut of meat. Peel off the clingfilm and top the meat before cooking.

If you are using the crumb fresh, brown the saddle of lamb on all sides first in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and then pat the herb crumb onto the meat. Gently press down. Place in a pre-heated oven, 180oC, for about 8-10 minutes so the meat is medium rare. Leave to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving and serving with your favourite vegetables.

Chef’s tip

Sprinkle the herb crumb onto a baking tray and bake in a hot oven, 180oC, for five minutes until it is crisp. Makes a delicious crunchy topping for pasta dishes.

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