Roast saddle of Pyrenean lamb
Helena Puolakka, executive chef at Skylon restaurant, favours Pyrenean lamb because, she says, “It’s the best milk-fed lamb you can buy and a great delicacy.” She serves it with Swiss chard, ceps and griotte (Morello cherry) marmalade.
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
1 saddle Pyrenean milk-fed lamb
1 bunch Swiss chard
250g small ceps, fresh or frozen
chopped leaves from 5 sprigs tarragon
Maldon sea salt
800ml whipping cream, reduced to 400ml cream
100g grated parmesan
100g shallots, finely diced
100g fennel, finely diced
80ml sherry vinegar
150ml cherry purée
250g griottes (Morello cherries), stoned
2.5g coriander seeds
25g grainy mustard
To make the griotte marmalade, sweat off the finely diced shallot and fennel in olive oil. Deglaze the pan with the sherry vinegar and reduce. Add the cherry purée and griottes, bring to a simmer then add the spices and mustard just before removing from the heat. Check the seasoning.
For the rest of the dish, remove the skin from the saddle of lamb very carefully and keeping it as neat as possible, without making holes. Reserve, as you will need this to cook with later. Remove the kidneys and small fillets underneath the saddle. Separate the best end and short saddle between the eighth bone on both sides then cut the saddle in half. Now clean the best end to racks and debone the short saddle. [You may wish to ask your butcher to do this.]
Separate the green leaves of chard and the white stalks. Wash the leaves and julienne them. Slice the ceps and sautée them for two minutes in olive oil. Sautée the chard leaves and mix half the chard with half the ceps, now add the chopped tarragon and season. Reserve the remaining sautéed chard and remaining sautéed ceps.
Peel the white stalks of chard then slice into paysannes or batons. Blanch in salted water with olive oil until tender but not cooked through.
Reduce the cream. Mix this with the reserved chard and parmesan. Place into portion-sized gratin dishes and store in the fridge. Finish off before serving by cooking at 180ºC for 10 minutes.
Stuff the short saddle with the ceps and chard mixture. Wrap the reserved skin around it and tie with string. Roast for approximately 8-10 minutes at 180ºC. Leave to rest for a minimum 10 minutes before carving.
Pan-fry the kidney and rack à la minute for 2-4 minutes.
To serve, carve a slice of saddle, carve the rack and slice the kidney. Serve with sautéed ceps, griotte marmalade and the gratin on the side.
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