Lamb belly with English asparagus and wild garlic

111 Matt Tebbutt recipe template

Preparation time
over 2 hours

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves 4

By Tom Booton
From Saturday Kitchen


For the lamb

  • 1 lamb breast (belly), boneless, about 750g/1lb 10oz
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz lamb mince
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 5g ground mace
  • 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely diced
  • 15g/½oz fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, or any mustard will do
  • 8-10 wild garlic leaves
  • rapeseed oil, for frying
  • 4 leafy carrots, whole
  • 500g/1lb 2oz button mushrooms
  • 1 small glass red wine
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints good quality chicken stock

For the mash

  • 5 large floury potatoes, peeled and cut into even-sized pieces
  • 200g/7oz full-fat milk, plus extra if needed
  • 200g/7oz unsalted butter
  • salt

For the asparagus

  • rapeseed oil, for frying
  • 12 spears English asparagus
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 100g/3½oz wild garlic, leaves left whole, plus extra to serve
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the lamb belly, carefully butterfly the lamb belly using a sharp knife. Begin by cutting down one side of the lamb belly lengthwise, being careful not to cut any holes in the two sides of the meat. Once you have gotten three quarters of the way, open it out like a book. Flatten the lamb a bit to make it easier to roll by placing cling film on top of the belly and hitting lightly with a meat paddle (or rolling pin). Again, be careful not to put any holes in the meat. Place the lamb in the fridge.

  2. To make the lamb stuffing, place the mince, garlic, mace, shallot, rosemary and cream in the bowl of a food mixer and mix together with a paddle until it comes together really well.

  3. Cover a work surface with cling film. Lay the belly out flat and spread with the mustard. Then spread the lamb stuffing evenly over the belly, leaving a 5cm/2in gap at the top. Lay wild garlic leaves on top of the filling. Roll the lamb belly up tightly using the cling film to help. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to firm up (or leave in the fridge overnight if preparing the lamb belly the day before).

  4. Remove from the fridge and carefully remove the cling film. Tie it together with butcher’s string. Wrap kitchen foil around each end of the rolled lamb (this stops the filling from coming out of the sides). Preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2.

  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the belly, turning to colour all over. Once it is golden all over, remove from the pan and place in a deep roasting tin with the carrots. Add the mushrooms to the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes, then deglaze with the red wine followed by the stock. Pour this over the lamb and carrots.

  6. Cover the roasting tin with baking paper and kitchen foil. Roast in the oven for 2½ hours, turning the meat every hour to evenly cook. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. Strain the juices into a new saucepan and bring to the boil, simmer until the volume of the liquid is reduced to a gravy consistency. Set aside to keep warm. Re-heat the lamb in the oven for 4 minutes before carving into 16 slices. (Remember to remove the strings before carving.)

  7. Meanwhile, to make the mash, place the potatoes in a large saucepan with water and salt. Bring to the boil, skimming off any foam that forms on top of the water, and reduce the heat to a strong simmer. Once the potatoes are tender, drain and leave to steam dry for 5 minutes.

  8. Bring the milk up to the boil in a large saucepan. Add half of the butter to the milk, followed by the potatoes and begin to mash. Pass the mash through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan (or do this in a food processor to save time) to create a very smooth mashed potato. Return to the heat and add the rest of the butter to the mash. If the mash gets too thick, add a touch more milk to achieve the desired consistency.

  9. To make the asparagus, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the asparagus with salt. Lightly fry without adding any colour then add 100ml/3½fl oz water and the butter. Stir the pan to create a lovely emulsion. Cook for 2 minutes or until the asparagus is just cooked. Add the wild garlic, lemon zest and juice and season with pepper.

  10. To serve, place four slices of the lamb belly on each plate followed by the asparagus spears, carrots, mushrooms and wild garlic leaves. Serve the gravy on the side next to the mash.