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Hogget Cutlets

with a mint crust

Preheat the oven to 225°C.

In a dry pan only very lightly toast the pine nuts.

Place the bread in a food processor and blend to fine crumbs. Now add the mint leaves, pine nuts, vinegar and garlic by crushing then blend until no large pieces remain. Add the butter after being slightly softened. When pinched the mixture should stay together.
 
Lay the racks of lamb in an oven proof dish and press the crust mix covering the skin, fold a piece of foil to fit over the crust and place in the oven for 10 minutes then reduce to 150°C, uncover the crust and cook for further 15-20 minutes depending on the size of you rack and rareness desired.

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Hoggets are the name given to an old lamb or a young sheep, depending on how you look at it. Their meat tends to be darker with a finer marbling which is slightly strong and richer in flavour when compared to a spring lamb.

lamb but lambier

There are also other reasons to go for an older animal. Having more time out grazing means the muscle has had time to build up higher levels of micronutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin B, not to mention higher in protein and essential amino acid.

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Much like other heavy and fatty meats calling for a fruit pairing, so does the pairing come of mint sauce and lamb. Not so much in the same way that mint is taking on the roll of a fruit but the sugar and acidity that is added to make a mint sauce cuts through the meat in the same way.

dscf1319
North Radworthy, Devon
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