Oven-Roasted Rump of Lamb with Baby Artichokes, Beet and Fennel Puree
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a main course
This dish is a combination of lots of ingredients I simply adore – artichokes, beetroot, lamb and fennel. For this recipe, I make a purée with the fennel, the baby beets are cooked then marinated and I even use the beetroot leaves. To finish, the rumps of lamb are roasted and the artichokes are sautéed to create this really special seasonal main course.
Globe artichokes are not only delicious and tasty but they are also beautiful in the garden or even in a flower arrangement. Preparing artichokes is a time-consuming activity, but ultimately a rewarding one.
Ingredients & Method
For the baby beets
- a bunch of raw baby beetroots (about 16 baby beets – 900g–1kg total weight)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- a sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
For the fennel purée
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
- 60ml white wine
- 80ml chicken stock
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the roasted rumps of lamb
- 8 baby artichokes, prepared and cooked (left whole with leaves and ‘chokes’ removed)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 lamb rumps (160–180g each)
- 100g fresh broad beans (shelled weight) about
- 120g baby beetroot leaves, reserved from the baby beets above (select the smallest and most tender leaves)
- 60g fresh buckler leaf sorrel, rinsed and patted dry, to garnish
First, prepare the baby beets. Trim the tops off the baby beetroots, reserving the smallest leaves for the roasted rumps of lamb. Place the baby beets in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and add the salt. Cover, then bring to the boil over a medium-high heat and cook for 20–25 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, drain the baby beets, refresh in cold water and drain again, then peel them, keeping them whole.
Place the baby beets in a suitable container, add the olive oil, sherry vinegar, coriander seeds, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and stir to mix, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Just before reheating and serving, remove and discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf.)
Prepare the fennel purée. Melt the butter in a saucepan and once the butter starts to foam, add the fennel and salt and pepper, then cover and sweat over a medium heat for 8–10 minutes or until the fennel starts to turn transparent, stirring occasionally.
Add the wine to the pan and let it bubble, stirring and scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze it. Cook over a high heat for 1–2 minutes or until the wine is reduced and becomes syrupy. Add the stock, then cover and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until the fennel is tender. Remove the lid and cook over a high heat for a further 5–6 minutes or until all the stock has evaporated.
Remove from the heat, then carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the fennel purée to a clean saucepan and reheat gently until hot, then keep warm until you are ready to serve.
For the roasted rumps of lamb, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Cut the prepared and cooked artichokes into quarters and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick frying pan, season the lamb rumps with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan and cook over a high heat for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned and sealed all over. Transfer the lamb to a roasting tin and roast in the oven for about 8 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven, then transfer the lamb rumps to a wire rack, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
While the lamb is resting, sauté the artichokes. Use kitchen paper to wipe clean the frying pan used to seal the lamb. Melt the remaining butter in the frying pan and sauté the artichokes, with salt and pepper added, over a high heat for 5–6 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
In the meantime, reheat the baby beets in their juices in a small saucepan over a high heat for 4–5 minutes or until piping hot throughout. Blanch the broad beans and beetroot leaves in a pan of boiling salted water for 1–2 minutes or until tender, then drain.
Spoon the warm fennel purée on to the serving plates, then arrange the artichokes, baby beets, broad beans and beetroot leaves on the plates. Carve the roast lamb into slices and serve the equivalent of half a lamb rump per portion. Garnish with the sorrel and serve immediately.