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Le Cordon Bleu News, 04/29/2015
Breaded slow cooked breast of lamb, pickled red onion, mint crème fraîche and spring vegetables
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About this recipe

Slow cooking the breast of lamb makes for a tender texture; here it is cured in salt and slow cooked in duck fat creating a rich flavor before being coated in Panko breadcrumbs. The sweet pickled onions add balance to the dish which is finished with green spring vegetables and a refreshing minty crème fraîche.

Recipe - Breaded slow cooked breast of lamb, pickled red onion, mint crème fraîche and spring vegetables

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cure: 3 to 6 hours 
Cooking time: About 3 hours
Refrigeration: 2 hours

In this recipe:

  • lamb
  • red onion
  • mint
  • crème fraîche
  • asparagus







Slow cooked breast of lamb
6 garlic cloves
3 rosemary sprigs
10 g Maldon sea salt
500 g lamb breast, off the bone
1 kg duck fat (to cover)
150 g flour
salt, pepper
2 eggs, beaten
500 g Panko breadcrumbs
Pickled red onion
10 g sugar
20 ml red wine vinegar
30 ml water
1 thyme sprig
1 red onion
Mint crème fraîche
50 g mint
200 ml crème fraîche
salt, pepper
Spring vegetables
12 green asparagus spears
100 g fava (broad) beans
100 g shelled peas
60 g lambs lettuce
½ bunch radish
20 g butter
salt, pepper

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  1. Slow cooked breast of lamb: Peel and crush the garlic cloves, pick the leaves off the rosemary sprigs and finely chop, add to the Maldon sea salt and mix to combine. Rub the mixture over the surface of the lamb and cure for 3 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat oven to 150°C. Using cold water wash the lamb to remove the salt mixture and pat dry. Melt the duck fat in a pan over a low heat. Place the lamb in a deep oven proof dish and pour over the warm duck fat. Bake until soft and tender, about 3 hours. Allow lamb to cool before removing from fat. Roll tightly in plastic film to create a cylindrical tube shape. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Slice lamb into 8 equal sized disks. Coat lamb in a thin layer of seasoned flour, shaked to remove access. Coat in the beaten eggs and finally breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until required.
  3. Pickled red onions: Place the sugar, vinegar, water and thyme into a pan and bring to a boil. Peel and thinly slice the red onion. Add to pickling liquid and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover pan with plastic wrap and leave to infuse as it cools. When cool drain the red onion and discard the pickling liquid.
  4. Mint crème fraîche: Wash, pick and finely chop mint leaves. Mix with crème fraîche and season. Set aside.
  5. Spring vegetables: Prepare and cook the asparagus. Bring salted water to a boil in a saucepan. Separately cook vegetables until just soft, refreshing the water each time, about 2 minutes for the fava beans and about 1 minute for the peas. Drain, refresh and set aside. Gently squeeze the fava beans from their skins and discard the skins. Wash the lambs lettuce leaves and thinly slice the radishes lengthways. Set aside.
  6. Increase oven temperature to 200°C. Bake the prepared lamb on an baking sheet until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes.
  7. To serve: Reheat asparagus, peas and fava beans in a pan with butter and a tablespoon of water. Season to taste. Arrange warm vegetables on the plate, add 2 disks of breaded lamb, and top with radish slices, lambs lettuce and pickled red onions. Finish with dots of mint crème fraîche.

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Wine Pairing

This seasonal dish offers a lot of contrasts. On one side, the spring vegetables, the mint and the pickled red onion provide freshness and crunchy texture. On the other hand, once you have bitten into the crisp Panko breadcrumb crust, the lamb melts in the mouth and delivers rich flavours of rosemary and garlic. You could dare to try a concentrated and pungent Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon from the Graves in Bordeaux but a red wine with a lot of freshness and bags of fruit would be a more classical choice. With that in mind, the Barbera d’Alba, Ettore Germano, Piemonte, Italy 2013 seems ideal. The vibrant fruit and bright acidity will outline the freshness of the spring vegetables while cutting through the richness of the meat. To enhance the experience even further, don’t hesitate to serve this wine slightly cooler by keeping in the fridge for half an hour before serving.

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