Fillets of Lamb on Croutons with Spring Vegetables

This recipe and the next are both from the collection of a ‘Clerk of the Kitchen to A noble Earl’ in the late eighteenth century. The original recipe used the word ‘manchet’, i.e. fine white bread, where we have become accustomed to the French word croûton.

Vegetable quantities are for four. The dish is even better, of course, with fresh asparagus and new peas, as in the original. Other vegetables can be used.

Ingredients

  • 2 fillets per person
  • lb. (¾ k.) new potatoes
  • ½ lb. (240 g.) mushrooms
  • tin of asparagus
  • pkt frozen sweetcorn
  • a small packet frozen peas
  • slice of bread for each fillet
  • ½ lb. (240 g.) butter

Method

Any good butcher will cut the small fillets from the loin. Prepare the croutons by cutting rounds from slices of bread with a pastry-cutter about the same size as the fillets. Next, cook all the vegetables separately, tossing in butter the potatoes, the peas and the sweetcorn when they are drained. Sauté the mushrooms in butter and heat the tinned asparagus. Keep all hot while you fry the croutons to a light golden colour. Place them ready on a very large flat serving dish and keep hot in the oven. Add more butter to the pan and heat to foaming stage only. It should be about ¼ inch (½ cm.) deep and should not darken. Put the fillets into this and cook gently about three minutes each side. Place them on the croutons and stir the butter and juices together in the pan and spoon a little over each. Arrange all the vegetables around the fillets in small heaps, one of each for each person. Serve at once.

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