One of my favourite cuts from a sheep, the rump has a fantastic combination of flavour, fat covering, and texture. Here, cooked over coals and served with courgettes slowly braised in olive oil and a bright dressing of green olives, chilli, and garlic.
This is a dish that summons the spirit of the summer months and really, I would only suggest eating it in said months. While the courgettes are still in their peak season, and the weather is ripe for outdoor cooking and eating. Everything served warm, as the main course of a long and relaxed lunch, with an abundance of wine and good company. I think I can see some bread on the table and some sort of fruit-based dessert in the distance — perhaps in the form of a frangipane tart. I’m all of a sudden lost in a dream, a beautiful, pleasing dream. Take me to this lunch table…
Hogget rump, braised courgettes & green olive dressing
4 courgettes, washed and chopped into rounds about 2cm thick
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 unwaxed lemon
1 tsp chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs of fresh mint
- Olive dressing
2 tbsp of ODYSEA organic green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
½ a red chilli, seeds removed and finely diced
4 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves picked from the stalks and finely chopped
1 handful of fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, finely grated
1 tbsp finely diced red onion
2 tbsp Moscatel vinegar
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Remove the hogget rumps from the fridge and leave them to come up to room temperature.
- Set a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat and add 5 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, and chilli flakes. Season with sea salt and cook gently for 2-3 minutes so the garlic can release its aroma.
- Then add the courgettes and a pinch more salt. Stir together, then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 25 minutes like this, stirring occasionally.
- Peel strips of zest off the lemon and add to the pan. Cook for 2 more minutes, then remove from the heat and add the mint sprigs, stir together, and leave to sit for about 10 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. A little squeeze of lemon juice is a smart move.
- For the olive dressing:
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with sea salt. Set aside for 5 minutes so all the flavours may intermingle. Then taste again and adjust as necessary.
- To cook the hogget:
- Season the rumps well with sea salt.
- Burn down the barbeque until the flames have subsided and the charcoal is burning white.
- Find the cooler part of the grill and place the rumps, with the fat facing down and cook for 5-6 minutes, moving it around regularly, so the fat may render and take on a little colour.
- Then flip the rumps and start browning off the other sides. The trick with cooking a cut like this on a bbq is to keep it moving around. A little blast on the higher heat when necessary and then back to the cooler parts. Cook for 8-10 minutes like this and then remove and rest for a further 10 minutes — downwind of the smoke or on a shelf raised above the grill, if possible.