Lamb Cutlets in Aspic

Lamb Cutlets in Aspic is ideal for a light summer meal. It is better to make this dish the day before as it takes a long lime for the gelatine to cool and set. Serve it with a mixed vegetable salad and light dry white wine such as a Moselle.

2 lb. best end neck of lamb, cut into cutlets

2 large carrots, scraped and sliced

1 large onion, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

1 pint chicken stock

½ oz. gelatine, dissolved in

1 tablespoons hot water

1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves egg whites 4 mint sprigs

Trim the cutlets of excess fat. Place them in a large saucepan and just cover with cold water. Add the carrots, onion and salt and place the pan over moderate heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the cutlets for 45 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool, placing the pan in cold water to speed up the cooling process.

When the cutlets are cool, with a slotted spoon transfer them from the pan to a chopping board. Trim the cutlets into neat shapes, removing any remaining fat, and set aside. Discard the cooking liquid.

In a large saucepan, combine the stock, gelatine and chopped mint. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites with a wire whisk until they are frothy. Put the saucepan over moderate heat, add the egg whites and continue whisking until the mixture comes to the boil and rises in the pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Strain the stock very carefully through a strainer lined with a scalded cloth.

Pour half the strained stock into a large shallow rectangular dish, large enough to hold the lamb cutlets in one layer, and leave to cool. When cold, but before the aspic has properly set, lay the lamb cutlets on top. Pour over the rest of the aspic and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or until the aspic is set.

Before serving, dip the dish quickly into hot water. Carefully turn the aspic on to a serving dish, garnish with the mint sprigs and serve immediately.