A picture of Delia's Lamb Cutlets with Grana Padano Coating, Asparagus, Broad Bean & Spring Onions, Swiss Chard & Grana Padano Gratin   recipe

Lamb Cutlets with Grana Padano Coating, Asparagus, Broad Bean & Spring Onions, Swiss Chard & Grana Padano Gratin

30 minutes
to cook

Cook in season recipes with Alex Mackay - cook, teacher, cookery writer - sponsored by Grana Padano PDO cheese

I have adapted the flour and breadcrumbs that are typical in this type of recipe to cornflour, Grana Padano and polenta so that people on a gluten free diet can enjoy it too. The coating is superb, just the right mixture of crunchy and cheesy. I tried this with chump chops, lamb leg steaks and the cutlets in the photo, all were very good, and all cook within roughly the same time.  I only chose the cutlets because they looked the prettiest. You can use this coating for thinly sliced veal, pork, turkey or chicken. The gratin provides both side dish and sauce, feel free to add a little garlic and a few anchovies if you fancy. A little advance planning makes this recipe very practical and more fun to finish. The lamb can be coated at least 12 hours ahead of frying. The cheese sauce and gratin can be made the day before, you can heat it in your microwave then grill the top or heat it in the oven at 180c for 25 minutes or so by which time the top will be golden.

Serves 4 Preparation time: 55 minutes; Cooking time: 30 minutes; Difficulty: Moderate

  • method
  • Ingredients


The Swiss Chard Gratin
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Take the pan off the heat. Add the cornflour. Whisk to remove any lumps. Whisk in the milk. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, whisking all the time. Boil for 1 minute to cook out the cornflour. Take the pan off the heat.
2. Add the 100g of grated Grana Padano. Keep stirring until it has mostly melted. Set aside.
3. Heat your steamer. Separate the Swiss chard leaves from their ribs. Cut the ribs into 2-3cm slices. Steam the ribs for 3-4 minutes until tender. Slice the leaves thickly. Add them to the steamer. Steam for a minute until they wilt.
4. Transfer the Swiss chard to an ovenproof dish. Mix it with the cheese sauce. Scatter the 80g of grated Grana Padano over the top. Keep the gratin warm until you are ready to grill the top. (Or you can let it go cold and heat it back up later).
5. Once you are ready to grill, scatter the polenta and Grana Padano coating mixture that remains from the lamb (see step 9) over the top.

The Lamb 
6. Pre-heat your grill for the gratin.
7. Put the 90g freshly grated Grana Padano and polenta on a large plate. Mix together. Whisk the egg(s). Add a big pinch each of salt and pepper. Put the beaten egg onto a plate. Put the cornflour onto another plate. Prepare a clean plate to put all your cutlets on.
8. For the coating, start by coating the cutlets on both sides with the cornflour then shake off any excess. Dip them one by one into the egg mixture, coat both sides then transfer them to the Grana Padano mixture. Coat the cutlets all over. Don’t worry if some of the coating falls off, just spread it back over the cutlets then press it on with your hand.
9. Scatter any remaining Grana Padano and polenta mixture over the gratin. Grill until golden. Keep an eye on your gratin, move it around under the grill if you need to as a grill’s heat can vary enormously, and you don’t want to burn your beautiful cheese. Once it is golden, keep your gratin warm.
10. To cook the cutlets, get one large or 2 medium sized frying pans. Add the vegetable oil and get it very hot. Lay the cutlets, away from you, so you don’t get splattered with hot fat, into the pan. Fry for 1 minute, then lower the heat to medium and fry for 1-2 minutes until the cutlets are golden on the underside. Turn the cutlets, again away from you, then fry them over a medium to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes more until they are golden brown all over. Stand in front of the frying cutlets the whole time, so you can lower or raise the heat if you need to, listen for a slow steady sizzle.
11. Transfer the golden cutlets to the top of the Swiss Chard gratin to rest, this is lovely, as any juices that escape mingle with the gratin.

The Vegetables
12. Boil your kettle.
13. While the lamb rests, wipe out the pan and put it onto your highest heat with 150ml of water and 25g of butter. Bring to the boil.
14. Add the vegetables. Put a lid on. (If you don’t have a lid large enough, use a plate or another frying pan, I recently bought a lid to fit my 28cm frying pan and it was a great investment). Boil furiously for 3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, add a little more hot water if you need to. Take the lid off then boil for another minute or so until the liquid has emulsified and glazed the vegetables. Take the pan off the heat. Season to taste.

15. Serve the lamb and gratin with the vegetables on the side.


Swiss Chard Gratin
Approximately 500g of Swiss Chard, ribs separated from leaves
25g butter
25g cornflour
250ml full cream organic milk
100g plus 80g freshly grated Grana Padano PDO cheese
Any remaining Grana Padano PDO coating from the lamb
The Grana Padano Lamb
90g finely grated Grana Padano PDO cheese
70g polenta
8 trimmed lamb cutlets
1 large or 2 small eggs
50g cornflour
4 tbsp vegetable oil / more if needed
The Vegetables
12 fat asparagus, trimmed, peeled, sliced 4cm on an angle
12 fat spring onions, peeled, sliced 4cm on an angle
200g broad beans (podded weight)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Small saucepan
Large frying pan

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