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Neil Thrift - Head Chef, Waldorf Astoria

Tian of Lamb

with spring onion and tomato


  • 4 x 180g canons of lamb

For the marinade:

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 15g crushed garlic
  • a small sprig of rosemary
  • a sprig of thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper

For the Anna potatoes:

  • 4 Maris Piper potatoes
  • 30g melted clarified butter
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 60g butter

For the marinade:

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 15g crushed garlic
  • a small sprig of rosemary
  • a sprig of thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper

For the garnish:

  • 12 cloves of garlic, skin on
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 240g cooked spinach leaves

For the ratatouille:

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 10g crushed garlic
  • 1 medium courgette, sliced and chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small aubergine, sliced and chopped
  • a small handful of basil, roughly shredded
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and deseeded (Ideally, you want roughly the same weights of onion, courgette, red and green peppers, aubergine and tomato – aim for about 90g of each)

For the sauce:

  • 15g butter
  • 60g chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary 500ml red wine
  • 250ml port
  • 100ml veal gravy, or chicken as an alternative
  • 375g butter, cold in small cubes

Serves 4

Tian of Lamb

Ask your butcher for larder-trimmed canons of lamb at around 180g each with all the fat and silver sinew removed. Mix all the marinade ingredients and marinate the meat, covered, in the fridge overnight.

To prepare the potatoes, peel and wash them quickly under the tap - don’t soak them in water - then take a 3.5cm cutter and cut them lengthwise into four cylinders, or trim them to size. Slice the cylinders into discs around 2.5mm thick, and place the discs in a bowl with the clarified butter. Mix well, and add Maldon salt and black pepper. Set out a flat ovenproof pan and put four 7-8cm rings on it. Place the potato discs in a circular pattern inside the rings, each disc overlapping its neighbour. Divide the butter into four and place a piece in the centre of each ring. Drizzle olive oil around the outside of the rings and place the pan over a moderate heat. Keep the heat sufficient to give movement in the pan, but not so high that it burns the potatoes; don’t rush it. When the outside turns golden brown, very carefully turn the rings over. Once the potatoes are browned on both sides, put the pan in the oven at 170°C/325°F/gas 3 until the potatoes are thoroughly cooked – around 30 minutes or so. Then leave them to cool under a light weight. When cooled, remove the potato discs from the pan, setting them out on a tray and covering until needed.

For the ratatouille, heat half the olive oil in a flat-bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, cook the onions and garlic until soft, then remove them from the pan and set aside to cool. In a little more of the oil fry off the courgette, cooking until al dente, then remove it from the pan. Repeat with the peppers, aubergine and tomato, cooking the latter until they start to break down. When all the ingredients are cooled, mix them together with the basil and cover.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan. Add the shallots and the herbs, and cook them over a medium heat until they are soft but have not coloured. Add the alcohol, increase the heat and reduce the liquid by nine- tenths. Then add the gravy and bring the liquid back to the boil, reducing it by a further two-thirds. Check the seasoning and add Maldon salt to taste. Whisk in the butter a little at a time immediately prior to serving.

Prepare the garnish by frying the cloves of garlic for 1 or 2 minutes in the oil in an ovenproof pan, then roasting them in the oven at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for about 10 minutes until the insides are soft. Add the cherry tomatoes to roast for 5 minutes and then remove both from the pan and leave to cool.

Remove the lamb from the fridge an hour before cooking and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Heat up a frying pan and, when smoking, add a little of the oil from the marinade. Season the meat, put it in the pan and seal until the canons are golden brown on both sides. Transfer them to the oven, roasting for 8–10 minutes depending on the degree of cooking preferred. Start reheating all the other elements of the dish, either in the oven or on the hob. Remove the lamb from the oven when it is cooked to your taste and keep it warm.

Using the rings for the Anna potatoes, form a layer of spinach leaves. Top them with the potatoes, then top the potatoes with the ratatouille. Garnish each plate with three cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves. When the lamb has rested, carve it into slices and arrange these on top of the ratatouille. Pour the sauce around the dish, and serve.

  • ©2018. Maldon Crystal Salt Co.