Roast lamb breast with rosemary & mustard flageolet beans



“Breast of lamb is a strange joint which is pretty nearly inedible unless you have this recipe.”  Thus spake Old Scrote.  I think he is being a little harsh, but since  didn’t have the benefit of his wisdom before I embarked on my cooking adventure, I didn’t feel any rising panic about how to cook the meat!  Probably for the best.  You don’t want your roast smelling your fear and seizing up 😉


I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my husband loves a bargain, so when he came across the small rolled breast of lamb in the supermarket, it made its way into our trolley at light-speed.  It cost something truly ridiculous like £2.50 and looked big enough to feed us both – now how can you argue with that?  Subsequent research has revealed that it is an oblong-shaped part of the forequarter containing ribs and alternating layers of fat and meat, usually with fat covering one of the sides.  The one we bought was deboned and rolled up with the fatty side outside.  In retrospect, perhaps I should have unrolled it and tried stuffing it, but it was a weeknight and we were hungry, so in the end that seemed like too much of a faff.  Instead I seasoned & roasted it on a bed of flageolet beans in a fragrant rosemary and wholegrain mustard sauce


If I were to make this again with lamb breast, I would roast it for longer (I have amended my recipe instructions to allow for longer cooking).  In fact had I known that “lamb brisket” is another name that this cut goes under, I would probably have shied away from roasting it altogether and assumed that it needs braising. This is a roundabout way of saying that the meat will not be tender if you treat it like an ordinary lamb roast!  The meat certainly was flavourful but beware – there was also a heart of gristle… so there are some obvious reasons why it is a cheap cut.  What did work very well was the beans.  I had chosen to cook the roast on top of the saucy beans because I did not want the meat to dry out, and this was a good call.  As for the flavour – wonderful!  Rosemary is a classic lamb pairing and the creamy beans definitely benefited from the zing of the mustard.


So all in all, this was a far cry from “pretty nearly inedible” and let’s face it, what’s not to like about a piece of lamb that provides 2 meals (watch this space) for 2 people for under £3?








For printable recipe, click here.




1 small lamb roast (I used breast but any roasting joint will work) – about 600g
1 small onion, diced
1 410g tin of flageolet beans, drained
1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
100ml double cream
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves chopped
salt and pepper
olive oil




Pre-heat the oven to 170C.


In saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and sautée until translucent but not browned.  Stir in the mustard and cream, heat and then add the drained beans.  Heat through, adding a little milk if the mixture is too thick.  Add the rosemary, check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour mixture into an ovenproof dish and keep warm.


Rub the meat all over with salt and pepper.  Place on top of the beans and cover with foil.  Roast in the pre-heated oven for 2 hours, removing the tinfoil for the last 30 minutes to brown the fat.


Serve in slices on top of the beans, accompanied by green vegetables.


I was going to submit this recipe to this month’s My Legume Love Affair, the event that’s passionate about pulses created by the lovely Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook – but sadly I see that only vegetarian recipes are accepted this month.  Oh well – next time.  Do make sure to check out the roundup over at host Simple Indian Food after 1 Feb.
Flageolet on Foodista

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  1. says

    What an interesting cut of lamb. I will have to look for that at my butcher. It looks like it would make a lovely braise- and I love the beans!

  2. says

    Mmmm – those beans are definitely an idea worth stealing – they sound very flavourful. Didn’t even know you get breast of lamb! At least now I will know what to do with it if I stumble across it one day. :-)

  3. says

    For less than £3 the meat is a bargain but it does have its downside with all the fat and gristle. I do find meat terminology very confusing. UK, USA, Australia etc have different terms for the same cuts and sometimes they cut up the meat completely differently! So for recipe writers and cooks it is a recurring nightmare. The beans look like a fun accompaniment, a refreshing change from roast potatoes or mash.