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Dish of the Month | June 2024 | James Heywood’s Lebanese Spiced Lamb Ballotine

We love sourcing locally reared and grown produce for our menus. But we also take inspiration from international flavours, which is the case here for this month’s dish of choice, the Lebanese lamb ballotine.


Head chef of The George Hathersage, James Heywood, talks us through what makes the dish special and how you too can recreate it at home.


It All Started with an Irish Nan

James has been the head chef of The George Hathersage since 2022 and has enjoyed a rich, vibrant culinary career including working under the Michelin-starred chef at 2 Rossette Pittodrie House Hotel in Scotland and various high-end restaurants and Hotels in Manchester, including the Midland Hotel.


However, it was as a young boy growing up in Manchester that James got the bug for good food, thanks to his Irish nan, Mary.


“She always loved and made the best homemade stuff and taught me about the importance of cooking from scratch. She made a mean Irish stew.” said James.


James went on to study catering and hospitality, working his way up through various roles.


“I’d say my signature style is typical French but I like to draw inspiration for different flavours from all over the place. I have always been a massive fan of Middle Eastern flavours so picking the Lebanese lamb ballotine as my favourite off The George menu was an easy choice.”


“This dish especially packs an array of flavours, from the spiced lamb shoulder to the char of the vegetable skewers, all brought together with the freshness of the hummus. The lamb is sourced from The Ginger Butchers in Bakewell so is unbelievably fresh. It’s slow-cooked in slightly spiced stock for about 6 hours until tender. It really is quite the dish!”


Lebanese Lamb Ballotine – Serves 5


1kg diced lamb
50g parnsip
50g carrots
20g maple syrup
1 white onion
100g red onions
teaspoon ginger
teaspoon ground cumin
good handful fresh mint
teaspoon ground coriander
Cracked black pepper and salt to season



Add the lamb to a slow cooker, cover with water and add carrots, parsnip and onion.

Put on slow and low overnight.

Dice the red onion and mint, mix all the spices.

Drain the lamb and keep the stock for the gravy.

Add the spice mix and mix without over-mixing. You want to keep the meat chunky.

Add appropriate seasoning to taste.

Using clingfilm, shape into a roulade.

Keep in the fridge to set.


To serve, reheat the lamb ballotine in the oven for 10 minutes until the centre is at least 75 degrees C.

We serve our ballotine with homemade cumin pita bread, pickled veg, charred padron peppers and sundried tomato hummus. Pomegranate seeds and fresh coriander really adds to the flavours.


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