One of the great Christmas traditions: the roast dinner. A dish designed to satiate the body, mind and soul, and this lamb version only takes under an hour to create. Abundant in flavour, the pepper-crusted lamb is complimented with seasonal, nutrient-dense roast veggies and a succulent beetroot sauce. Best enjoyed surrounded by family and friends, with your favourite festive soundtrack
Pepper-Crusted Lamb with Roast Parsnips and Beetroot Sauce
2 lean lamb leg steaks
1 teaspoon of white pepper
100g baby spinach leaves
375ml (1½ cups) water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon of sugar
½ teaspoon of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of butter
Preheat the oven to 220C. Line two oven trays with baking paper. Put the water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Peel the parsnip, then cut into 2cm pieces. Peel the beetroot, and then coarsely grate.
Put the parsnip in a single layer on one of the trays, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and roast for 15-20 minutes until golden and tender. Meanwhile, cook beetroot covered in the pan of boiling water for 10 minutes. Uncover, then cook, stirring occasionally, for a further five minutes or until tender.
While the vegetables are cooking, freshly grind ¼ teaspoon of black pepper into a bowl. Add the white pepper, season well with salt and stir to combine. Pat lamb dry with paper towel, rub lamb all over with mustard, then press the pepper mixture on all sides to coat lamb evenly.
Heat the remaining two teaspoons of oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Cook the lamb for two minutes each side, and then transfer to the second tray. Reserve the pan and do not clean. Put lamb in the oven and roast for 6 minutes for medium-rare or longer until cooked to your liking. Remove from oven, loosely cover with foil and set aside to rest for five minutes.
Once most of the beetroot liquid has evaporated, blend the beetroot with a stick blender until smooth. Stir in the sugar, vinegar and half the butter until well combined. Season with salt. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.
Melt the remaining butter in the reserved pan over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes until wilted. Slice lamb. Divide the beetroot sauce among plates and top with the lamb, spinach and parsnip.