Ingredients (serves 6-8)
For the Jewelled Rice Stuffing
- 1 lean crown roast joint (16 cutlets), ask your butcher to prepare this for you
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the Pomegranate Paste
- 15ml/1tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 4 cardamom pods, bruised
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 225g/8oz basmati rice, rinsed in several changes of cold water
- 400ml/14floz good, hot vegetable stock
- 25g/1oz shelled unsalted pistachios nuts, roughly chopped
- 50g/2oz shelled fresh pomegranate seeds
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 10ml/2tsp dried oregano or marjoram
- 60ml/4tbsp pomegranate molasses (available at large supermarkets or online)
- 30ml/2tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1. To prepare the stuffing; heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion with the spices for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the stock, season if required and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the cardamoms and cinnamon stick. Fluff up with a fork and stir through the pistachios and pomegranate seeds. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
3. Weigh the lamb joint and calculate the cooking time. To prepare the pomegranate paste; in a small bowl mix all the ingredients together. Brush inside and outside the cavity with the paste.
4. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190°C, 350-375°F. Fill the cavity with the stuffing. Cover the top of the stuffing with foil and individually wrap the bones with foil.
5. Place in a foil-lined non-stick roasting tin and open roast in a preheated oven for the calculated cooking time. 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the foil from the stuffing.
6. Remove the joint from the oven, remove the foil from the bones and serve the crown with the stuffing and seasonal vegetables.