Lamb cutlets with tumbet

Lamb cutlets with tumbet
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour, cook time 1 hour 30 mins

This Spanish lamb recipe is taken from Nieves Barragan Mohacho’s new cookbook Sabor. It may be a labour of love to make all the different components of the dish but the resulting meal is full of flavour and perfect served as a dinner party main course.

What is tumbet? It’s a roasted vegetable dish, similar to ratatouille.


For the spicy tomato sauce (see tips)

  • 250ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 leeks, white part only, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150g pancetta, diced
  • 150g chorizo, diced
  • 2 dried choricero peppers, soaked in water and finely chopped
  • 4 dried chillies, soaked in water and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1kg good quality tinned plum tomatoes, blitzed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste

For the tumbet

  • 2 large red peppers
  • 1 aubergine, sliced into 1cm rounds
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil, plus enough for the potatoes
  • 1 potato, sliced into 1cm rounds

For the lamb

  • 8 lamb cutlets (ask your butcher to French trim these for you)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the ajillo

  • 4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons flat parsley leaves. very finely chopped
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil


  1. For the tomato sauce, put the olive oil into a pan on a medium heat, then add the onions and cook until caramelised. Add the carrots, leeks and bay leaf and cook until all the vegetables are very soft and mushy (the longer you cook them the sweeter the sauce will be). Add the pancetta and chorizo and cook until they release their fat. Next add the sliced choriceros, dried chillies, smoked paprika and blitzed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the sauce begins bubbling: taste it and add sugar depending on how sweet the tomatoes are.
  2. Preheat your oven to 170–180°C
  3. For the tumbet, roast the peppers in a pan or under the grill. When their skin is completely blistered, put them into a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to steam, then peel them and remove the seeds while still warm (do this over a bowl to keep all the cooking juices). Strain the juices through a sieve, pushing down on any skin, and reserve.
  4. Season the aubergines with salt and leave in a colander for 10 minutes. Put the olive oil into a large pan on a medium heat. Fry the aubergines until coloured on both sides, then remove and season. Wipe down the pan, then pour in 1cm of olive oil and put the pan back on a medium heat. Add the potatoes and shallow-fry until light gold, soft around the edge but still a little raw in the middle. Season.
  5. Grease a small tray or baking dish with olive oil. Put in all the potatoes in one layer, then add the aubergines, followed by the peppers, seasoning each layer. Cover with the tomato sauce, then roast in the oven for 10–12 minutes, until everything melds together and is cooked through. Season the lamb cutlets with salt and pepper. Put a pan on a medium heat. When hot, add the cutlets and fry until they get a nice golden brown crust then flip them over – 1 1½ minutes per side will give you a medium cutlet.
  6. Mix all of the ajillo ingredients together until the oil starts to turn slightly green from the parsley. Drizzle the ajillo over the lamb cutlets to finish, and serve with the hot tumbet on the side.

Recipe taken from Sabor: Flavours from a Spanish Kitchen by Nieves Barragàn Mohacho.

delicious. tips

  1. You will have plenty of leftover spicy tomato sauce from this recipe. It freezes well so you can use it another time. When delicious. magazine’s deputy editor, Susan Low, tested the recipe she used the leftover sauce to make a baked egg brunch.

  2. Nieves says: “Tumbet is traditional home cooking at its best. I last ate it in Majorca, where it comes from, and was amazed at the simplicity of the peppers, aubergines and potatoes served with the lamb underneath. The restaurant was one of those old places where, even though they had no air-conditioning and it was boiling outside, it felt lovely and cool.”

Recipe By

Nieves Barragan


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