Tender Slices of Marinated Lamb Fillet with Fresh Mint

This is a much more interesting way of serving cold meat, and ideal for picnics. As long as you don’t overcook them, lamb fillets are an excellent way of serving cold boneless lamb. They are cooked whole at the highest heat so that their centre remains pink and juicy.


  • handful fresh mint leaves
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3-4 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 4-5 well-trimmed lamb neck fillets, weighing about 675-800 g/1½-1¾ lb

For the dressing

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • cayenne pepper
  • sea salt


Chop the mint leaves finely and put them into a bowl. Peel and crush the garlic. Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tomato purée and spices to the mint and mix very thoroughly together. Put the lamb fillets into a roasting pan and rub all over with the mixture. Cover the pan with foil and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. Remove the lamb fillets from the fridge to bring them to room temperature about an hour before you cook them.

Preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/gas mark 9. Remove the foil from the roasting pan and turn the lamb to make sure it is still evenly covered with the marinade. Cook at the very top of the oven for 15 minutes, turning the fillets once half way through. Immediately after cooking, remove the fillets from the pan and leave on a plate in a cool place until cold.

Before taking on your picnic, cut the fillets crossways into very thin slices, using your sharpest knife. Put them into a bowl or a container that you can take with you. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a cup with a fork, adding cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Then mix into the cold meat.