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Bob Hart’s recipe for Lamb Rump

THE CUT OF LAMB WE ALL FORGET

 

Given our national enthusiasm for lamb, and the excellence of the lamb we are able to buy, it seems odd that there is a prime cut we are inclined to ignore. But there is. And it’s the rump.

 

So if you have not done so lately – or even if you have – let’s acquire a chunky rump of prime lamb, and apply the torch in the form of your favourite barbecue.

 

This is a delicious cut of meat of around 600-700g for which you may have to go to a proper butcher, and not a supermarket. But your journey will, as usual, be rewarded. It is a sturdy, lean cut, but persuade your butcher to leave most of the fat cap in place, as it will contribute to the roasting process.

 

Then, salt the meat generously and work in a sprinkle of my all-purpose barbecue rub – the one in all of my books – or something similar, and refrigerate it for at least a couple of hours. Remove from the fridge and return to room temperature for at least an hour.

 

The trick now is to slow-cook it over gentle heat: you can do this over gas or charcoal, but charcoal will do the most impressive job – especially if you add a chunk of hickory to the fire. But remember, in addition to seasoning the meat, to carefully score that fat cap by using a sharp knife to cut a criss-cross patten into it without cutting into the meat. Cook the lamb with the fat cap up.

 

You are looking for an internal temperature of 50-55 C and, when you reach it, take the rump off the heat and rest it, loosely tented. Take care not to overcook it.

 

To finish it, you need to sear it briefly over high heat – either on your gas grill which you fire up to its maximum heat while the meat is resting or – as I do – on a cast-iron grill on top of a full and ignited chimney charcoal starter if you own one. Move the rump around on the hot grill, turning through 90 degrees and then flipping it to get good grill marks, but cooking each of the four positions for no more than 30 seconds to a minute before lifting off, resting briefly, and slicing thinly.

 

Serve it, with either the anchovy mayo we had with our tuna last week, or perhaps some tzatziki, or even just red-currant jelly or mint sauce.

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