Simon Hopkinson says that lamb cutlets would be his last meal. And here's how he'd like them cooked, thank you very much.

When having been asked occasionally as part of a questionnaire what my ‘last dish’ would be, the grilled lamb cutlet has enthusiastically been voiced by yours truly as much as any other delight.

However, although I often favour a burnished cutlet, I would be hard pushed to say as to whether I might prefer one neatly sliced from a roast best end of lamb. Doing so delivers a perfectly pink cutlet from this neatest and, dare I say, dinky joint.

Roast best end of lamb with stewed peppers

I emphatically advise that the lamb in the following recipe should be kept very pink and, almost more importantly, served at room temperature.

  • Ingredients (serves 2-3)
  • 2–3tbspn olive oil
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 2 thinly sliced cloves garlic
  • 2 large de-seeded, trimmed and sliced peppers (yellow and red)
  • 1 best end of lamb, French-trimmed
  • A large handful of torn-up basil leaves

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6.

In a sturdy pot, quietly stew the onion and garlic in the olive oil, allowing them to wilt and soften before adding the peppers. Season well, cover and leave to stew for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all is a glistening, unctuous mass and slightly burnished. Put to one side.

Smear the best end of lamb with a little oil and season generously, particularly on the fat. Place in a small roasting tin, fat side down, and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, basting occasionally and also turning the joint around so that it sits bones uppermost for the final 10 minutes.

Tip out all traces of fat from the tin and leave the lamb to rest somewhere warm, such as on top of the stove, until ready to carve.

To serve

Carve the lamb into cutlets and arrange on a handsome serving dish, spooning over any seeped juices from the rested meat. Stir the basil through the stewed peppers and pile upon the dish alongside the lamb.

For me, this is an assembly that needs no other accompaniment than a chilled bottle of rosé de Provence.