Grilled autumn lamb with romesco

Neil Perry
A saucy duo: Grilled lamb with romesco sauce.
A saucy duo: Grilled lamb with romesco sauce. Photo: William Meppem

I love all those Spanish salsas that go so well with meat and seafood. Romesco - a red capsicum and nut-based sauce - is one of my my favourites. As well as lamb, try grilling squid over charcoal and tossing with romesco and some julienne of lightly dressed radicchio. If you want to take your lamb or anything to the next level, get a charcoal barbecue and cook over natural fuel – it is so much better than gas.


1 head garlic, unpeeled

1 red capsicum

4 long red chillies

2 vine-ripened tomatoes

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp stale sourdough breadcrumbs

4 hazelnuts, roasted

4 blanched almonds

1 tsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

freshly squeezed lemon juice

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

12 x 80-90g trimmed lamb cutlets 

head radicchio, leaves roughly chopped 

head frisee, roughly chopped

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

cup extra virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 200C. Place whole head of garlic, capsicum and chillies on a roasting tray in the oven.

2. Remove the eye of the tomatoes and score the other end. In a pot of boiling salted water, blanch tomatoes briefly then plunge into cold water. Peel away the skin, cut into quarters and scrape away the seeds.

3. When chillies are roasted and soft, remove from oven. When capsicum is tender, remove from oven. Place both in a bowl covered with cling film to make the skins easier to remove. The garlic will take the longest to roast; remove when soft to touch. Peel skin from chillies and capsicum and remove all the seeds. Roughly tear the capsicum and chilli flesh and place in a food processor. Squeeze garlic cloves from their skins and add to the processor.

4. Heat vegetable oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Fry breadcrumbs until lightly golden. Add to the food processor with tomatoes, nuts, vinegar and olive oil. Puree until smooth and season to taste with lemon juice and seasoning.

5. Season lamb cutlets and pre-heat the grill, making sure the grill bars are clean. Cook cutlets for a couple of minutes on each side then rest somewhere warm on a plate covered with foil.

6. Put radicchio and frisee in a bowl. Add vinegar, olive oil and seasoning to taste. Toss to combine.

7. Place three cutlets on each plate. Mix a little olive oil with the juices from the resting plate. Pour over the lamb and give a good grind of pepper. Serve with the salad and romesco.

Serve with Neil Perry's fig and walnut salad