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Seared lamb with tomato and black olive compote

lamb and artichokes

I like to use the cut "Lammlachs" for this dish, although it's not a cut I've ever seen outside of Germany. Looking online suggests that the translation is "eye of loin" though that name is unfamiliar to me in English. Whatever type of lamb you use, make sure it is super-tender as this cooking method will be unforgiving to tougher cuts of meat. Serve with artichoke puree.


Serves 4 as a main course


For the lamb

4 lamb "lachs" (approx. 200g of meat per person)

A sprig of rosemary

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp red wine

a pinch of smoked paprika


For the compote

20 cherry tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

a sprig of thyme

1 tbsp black olive tapenade

olive oil

salt and pepper

a handful of basil


Chop the rosemary and garlic for the lamb and mix with the olive oil, red wine and paprika to make a marinade. Massage it into the meat and leave, preferably overnight.


Make the compote before cooking the lamb. Heat the oven to 140°C. Crush the garlic and thyme to a paste, season and mix with a little olive oil. Cut the tomatoes in half, lay them cut-side up in an oven-proof dish and drizzle with the garlicky oil.


Roast for about an hour, until the tomatoes are shrivelled and there is plenty of juice in the bottom of the dish. Pour off the juice and reserve for later. Mix in the tapenade and torn basil leaves - the tomatoes will collapse a little, but this doesn't matter - cover and leave the compote to infuse for a couple of hours.


The tomato juice you poured off should be a bright yellowy-red in colour. Taste it and add sugar if necessary - it is sometimes very sour.  Add a little extra virgin olive oil (about 50% of however much juice you have) and stir.


When you are ready to cook the lamb, heat the oven to 220°C. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and sear the lamb on all sides until nicely browned. Transfer to a roasting tin and roast for 10 minutes or less. (This will give you rare lamb which I firmly believe is the only way to eat such a good cut of meat, but of course, increase the roasting time if you prefer it to be medium or well-done. I sometimes get told off by Tobias for imposing my own culinary preferences on others.)


Leave the lamb to rest for five minutes or so, then serve, on a bed of artichoke puree with a dollop of tomato compote on top and the bright yellow tomato juice drizzled around the edges.



Photo by Per Magnus Persson

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