Wiltshire lamb rump with gem lettuce, anchovies, yoghurt and mint

as seen in Crumbs Bath and Bristol


    15g mint leaves

    150g blended rapeseed oil, plus extra for frying

    1 x 140g lamb rump

    large head of gem lettuce

    3 anchovy fillets (tinned, in oil)

    2 tbsp sheep's yoghurt

    small handful baby caper berries

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Main serves 2

The Olive Tree sits inside the Queensberry Hotel, and is Bath's only Michelin-starred restaurant. Head chef Chris Cleghorn has been at the helm in the kitchen for more than six years now, honing the imaginative menus and building his gaff's reputation. At the heart of this dish is a great-quality lamb rump, flavoured by its layer of fat, which Chris says is best cooked medium rare (use a probe thermometer to check the temperature - it should be at 65C). The accompaniments, though, are far from lamb's average plate fellows: gem lettuce (which takes on a new flavour and texture when cooked) and mint oil (a novel alternative to the traditional herb sauce). The tang of the yogurt and punch of the anchovy and caper berries, meanwhile, cut through the rich unctuousness of that lamb rump.

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For the mint oil, add the mint leaves and rapeseed oil to a pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until it reaches 80C, then blend in a liquidiser for 30 seconds. Pass through a sieve and allow to cool.


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.


To prep the lamb, remove the skin from the fat on the top and remove any excess sinew from the flesh side. Tie the meat with 2 pieces of string about 2cm apart to help it hold its shape while cooking.


Warm an oven-proof pan on the hob with 2 tbsp blended rapeseed oil over a medium-high heat. Season the meat and place it in the pan, fat side down. Cook, turning every 2 minutes until golden brown.


Place the lamb into the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, until it reaches 65C for medium-rare. When cooked, allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes on a wire rack before removing the string.


Turn the oven down to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.


Wash the lettuce in a bowl of cold water and drain well. Cut the head in half lengthways and season with salt. Heat a nonstick oven-proof pan over a medium-high heat with 1 tbsp rapeseed oil. Pan-fry both halves, cut side down, until golden and then place the pan into the oven for 5 minutes. Place one half of the lettuce on each plate.


Cut the anchovies in half and top the lettuce with them. Add a tbsp of yoghurt on the side, using the back of a spoon to make a well. Add the mint oil to the well and finish with the baby capers. Finally, carve the lamb into 2 and add to the plates.

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