Pour the oil into a shallow dish, turn the noisettes over in the oil to coat them on all sides. Sprinkle with the crushed peppercorns. Cover the dish with cling-film and refrigerate for 6–8 hours or longer.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan until fairly hot. Sear the meat on all sides; then sprinkle it with salt.
Remove a few of the most tender shoots from the fennel and reserve to garnish the dish later. Place the rest of the fennel on top of the meat. Cover the pan and cook the meat, over moderate heat, for 20–25 minutes until tender.
Discard the cooked fennel. Transfer the lamb to a hot serving dish and add the finely chopped fennel shoots and the Pernod to the cooking juices. Bubble fast for 2–3 minutes, add the olives and check the seasoning. Spoon the sauce around the noisettes of lamb and serve with plain boiled potatoes.
© 1987 Geraldene Holt. All rights reserved.