Wessex Lamb Cutlets

This hearty, sustaining dish needs no accompaniment, since it is full of vegetables. It makes a perfect family meal or, garnished with cooked artichoke hearts, an excellent dinner party dish. For a slightly cheaper dish, substitute extra beef or veal stock for the wine.

4 oz. butter

2 carrots, scraped and sliced

1 small turnip, peeled and sliced

1 leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned and sliced

1 medium-sized onion, sliced

4 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

3 fl. oz. home-made veal stock

8 thick lamb cutlets

1 lb. fresh peas, weighed after shelling 6 fl. oz. dry white wine 8 fl. oz. hot beef stock thickened with 1 tablespoon beurre manie bouquet garni, consisting of parsley sprigs, 1 thyme spray and 1 bay leaf tied together 20 small new potatoes, scrubbed

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 ounces of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the vegetables, half the salt, pepper and sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to coat the vegetables with the butter. Fry the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Reduce the heat to low. Add the stock, cover the pan and simmer the mixture for 12 to 15 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Place the cutlets on a wooden board and season them on both sides with the remaining salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180CC).

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, place the cutlets in the casserole and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until they begin to brown. Pour the vegetable mixture over the cutlets and add the peas and remaining sugar. Pour over the wine, increase the heat to high and boil until the liquid has reduced by one-third. Add the thickened stock and bouquet garni and bring the liquid to the boil. Remove the casserole from the heat and add the potatoes.

Cover the casserole and place it in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the cas-serole from the oven, remove and discard the bouquet garni and serve the lamb and vegetables straight from the casserole.