1.5kg deboned mid loin of lamb
6 medium kūmara, skin on, scrubbed and cut into 1cm discs
4 cups mixed spinach leaves, watercress, land cress or NZ spinach, picked over
extra oil and butter, for cooking.
thyme sprigs, to garnish
1 cup olive oil
zest and juice of 3 lemons
4 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, finely chopped
400g butter

This meat preparation may sound a bit technical but it’s not really once you have tried it for the first time. It’s a great opportunity to have a talk with your local butcher (my local butchers, Lucia and Eddie at Grey Lynn Butchers are my constant collaborators in all my catering and cooking). Take in this recipe and the butcher will explain the cut and show you how to trim, roll and prepare it. This cut is used for a rack of lamb when the bone is in, and the flap and fillet has been removed. But we want the bone out, the fillet and the flap left on, the fat layer intact and the skin removed.

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2.In a blender, whizz together the oil, lemon juice and zest, honey and the herbs to combine.
3.Set half of this oil aside.
4.Add the butter to the remaining oil mix and blend to make a compound butter.
5.Take one third of the butter, roll into a sausage shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
7.Lay out the mid loins on a board. Pull out the fillet and trim off any excess internal fat.
8.Sit the fillet back next to the mid loin meat.
9.Spread the remaining compound butter across the inner surface; don’t be too fussy as it will all melt in together.
10.Roll up the mid loin like a roulade; make it as tight as you can and use toothpicks to hold it together (it’s not a neat process, use as many toothpicks as you need to try and keep it tight and intact).
11.Use a sharp knife to carefully and gently trim off any skin or fat from the outside of the roll.
12.Cut the roll into noisettes, each piece about 2-3cm thick. Remove any excess toothpicks but make sure each noisette is held intact by at least one.
13.Put the noisettes into a baking dish and marinate in the reserved oil, honey and herb mix.
14.Leave for an hour or so, or even overnight.
15.Heat the oven to 180°C.
16.Spread the kūmara discs on a baking tray.
17.Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
18.Bake until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
19.Drain on a paper towel and cover to keep warm.
20.Heat some of the marinade in a heavy-based pan, adding extra oil if required and butter if you choose.
21.Get the oil and butter ‘singing’ then cook the noisettes, searing each side and turning once, about 10 minutes in total if you like your lamb pink.
22.Season with salt and pepper when you turn them, then set aside to rest for a further 10 minutes.
23.The honey will caramelise in the pan, giving a bit of blackening, but don’t worry, it’s all tasty. If you are cooking in batches, remove any blackened residue as you go to avoid burnt flavours.
24.While the lamb is resting, heat a little oil or oil and butter in a pan, drop in the greens, toss for a minute or so to wilt and season with salt and pepper.
25.To serve, arrange the noisettes, kūmara and the wilted greens on each warmed plate.
26.Take the roll of compound butter from the fridge, cut ½cm-thick slices and put one slice onto each noisette.
27.Garnish each noisette with a fresh sprig of thyme.
28.I think all food is enhanced by a squeeze of lemon and a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper before serving. It may not be required, but it can add the final flourish.

Recipes & food styling Grant Allen & Giada Grilli / Photography Tony Nyberg / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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