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Lamb fillet with wrapped asparagus, spinach, mashed potatoes and a Madeira sauce

This recipe is a simpler and healthier version of the dish that won Phil Vickery the Celebrity MasterChef title in 2011.


For the lamb fillets
  • 2 lamb fillets (about 100g/3½oz each)

  • few sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped

  • few sprigs thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped

  • few sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp duck fat

For the Madeira sauce
For the mashed potato
For the vegetables
  • 8-12 spears asparagus, woody ends removed

  • 8-10 slices Parma ham

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint

  • 6 carrots, chopped

  • 1 bag spinach, washed and ready to use

  • 1 knob of butter

Preparation method

  1. For the lamb fillets, rub the fillets all over with the chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper, then wrap tightly in cling film and set aside while you make the sauce.

  2. For the Madeira sauce, add the Madeira wine, chicken stock, garlic clove and chopped onion to a pan. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the volume of liquid has reduced and you have a thick sauce consistency. Strain through a sieve and set aside. (The sauce will be reheated just before serving.)

  3. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  4. For the mashed potato, place the potatoes into a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

  5. For the lamb fillets, heat the duck fat in an ovenproof frying pan. When hot, add the lamb fillets and fry until coloured all over. Transfer to the oven to cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. When cooked, set them aside to rest in a warm place.

  6. For the vegetables, blanch the asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, or until tender, then drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Drain again. Steam or boil the carrots until tender.

  7. Lay out the slices of Parma ham and sprinkle over a little bit of the chopped mint. Place an asparagus spear on top of each slice and roll up tightly, then secure with a cocktail stick. Set aside.

  8. Blanch the spinach in a pan with a little water. When wilted, squeeze out any excess moisture and set aside.

  9. Fry the wrapped asparagus in a non-stick frying pan for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and crisp. Remove the cocktail sticks.

  10. For the spinach, heat a knob of butter in a frying pan. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper.

  11. To finish the mashed potato, drain the potatoes, add butter to taste and mash until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

  12. To finish the sauce, return the pan to the heat and add a knob of butter. When the butter has melted and the sauce is warm it is ready to serve.

  13. Serve the lamb on a bed of spinach with some mashed potatoes, wrapped asparagus and carrots. Drizzle with a little sauce and serve any remaining sauce in a small jug.

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