Nicholas Hill’s Haunch of Lamb with Anchovy Butter, Broad Beans & Mint

Ingredients

  • 1 Boneless Leg of Lamb
  • 50g tin Ortiz Anchovies
  • 150g butter- softened
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 bunch of chives, sliced finely
  • ½ a bunch of mint- washed, drained and dried
  • 50g goats cheese
  • 200g fresh broad beans- podded once
  • 100g good olive oil

Method

Prep the lamb:

To “Haunch” or “SEAM” a lamb leg you need to simply separate the muscles of the leg into individual pieces and remove the sinew. These pieces, cooked carefully will be as tender as a loin chop or fillet however they are much leaner so best eaten medium rare.

  1. Place the lamb leg skin side down and open up the leg with your hands to lay it flat.
  2. Find a seem running between the muscles and follow it with the tip of your knife until you reach the skin. Separate the piece and remove the sinew.
  3. Repeat with the remaining muscles. Two to three pieces of lamb leg are sufficient for this recipe. The rest can be stored for later use.

Anchovy Butter:

  1. Puree both the anchovies and their oil into the soft butter with a blender and set in the fridge.

Broad Beans:

  1. Grade the broad beans out and taste them as you go. Generally for this we don’t cook the beans however not all beans are created equal so if the larger ones are chalky blanch them for 2 minutes in salted boiling water and refresh in ice water.
  2. Roughly Chop the mint.
  3. Quickly pulse in the blender the cooked and raw beans and keep them chunky.
  4. Fold through the goats cheese, olive oil, season with salt and lemon juice and add the chopped mint. Set aside.

Cook the Lamb:

  1. Season and brush the lamb with olive oil, seal in a hot cast iron pan or on the bbq transfer to a 185C oven for 7-8 minutes turning once during cooking.
  2. Rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.

To Finish:

  1. Add 2 large tablespoons of anchovy butter to a small saucepan and cook until it is foaming brown and smells like roasted anchovies.
  2. Add the juice of 1 lemon and transfer to a small bowl, add the chives to the butter.
  3. Carve the Lamb across the grain- this is very important for this cut of meat in order for it to eat tender. Depending on what muscle you use will determine the thickness in which you carve the meat.
    If the grain is large- carve very thin slices.
    If the grain is fine- carve larger pieces.
  4. Lay the lamb on the plate and dress liberally in the warm anchovy butter.
  5. Serve a large spoonful of the crushed beans and grate some lemon zest over the top.

Nik’s Dish Inspiration:

I was first taught how to butcher whole lambs at The Ledbury where we would use the haunches on the lunch menu and the prime cuts for dinner service. I learned a lot about cooking meat from those haunches as each muscle cooks slightly different which can be tricky during a busy service.

The anchovy butter is blatantly pilfered from a Capalletto dish at The Bathers Pavilion from 2004. It was the first hot section I ever worked and taught me some of the best lessons to date. It is one of my all time favourite sauces.

The broad beans are a riff on something I saw at the River Café on a 1 day stage many years ago. The lunch menu had a starter of raw broad beans and pecorino chopped together on toast with some mint. It tasted so good. I ate lots of someone else’s prep that day.