September 5th, 2010

Oven-Roasted Rump of Lamb with Baby Artichokes, Beet and Fennel Puree

Lamb has done well on our menu. We do try and implement a good carcass balance to use most of the animal and not only the prime cuts, but this dish is a more of a special occasion dish, as it’s using the wonderfully tender lamb rump.

Our menu changes every single day, and from lunch to dinner. We have a few dishes that remain on the menu throughout the week, however as soon as new seasonal ingredients arrive through the back door then new dishes grace our menus. We love a change in season, and a few game items are now taking pride of place on our menus, including wild rabbits from Wickham Market and fallow deer from Tunstall. We currently get our lamb from Mr. & Mrs. Eglington, and the lamb is truly tasty and packed full of flavour. Our best discovery, though, was the herd of Hebridean sheep grazing on the Wildlife Trust land right next door to us. Suffolk is a magical place and it clearly reminds us of why we are here – the county has such an abundance of wonderful foodie ingredients to offer, enough to keep us occupied for a very long time!

English lamb is at its most tender from May to June, and as the season progresses, the flavour of the meat develops and it becomes richer. Once an English lamb is 12 months old it becomes a hogget and once it gets two permanent incisor teeth it becomes mutton. To tenderise lamb, keep the meat submerged in sunflower oil infused with garlic, rosemary and thyme and a few crushed white peppercorns for up to two days.

This dish is a combination of lots of ingredients I simply adore. Artichokes, beetroot, lamb and fennel. For this recipe I made a puree with the fennel and even used the beetroot leaves.

Artichokes are not only delicious and tasty but are also beautiful in the garden or even in a flower arrangement. They can be difficult to grow and the plants do not normally bear any fruit in the first year. Artichokes thrive in soil with a high salt content and it’s said that seaweed is the best fertilizer for them. Globe and baby artichokes (all grown on the same plant) are the fruits of thistle-like plants thought to be native to North Africa, South Asia and the Mediterranean. The cultivated artichoke is a descendant of the wild cardoon.

Preparing artichokes is a time-consuming but rewarding activity. They oxidise as soon as you cut into the flesh and therefore should be dipped in an ice-cold water solution with a high concentrate of citrus or acid such as vitamin C powder. Even lemon juice or white wine vinegar helps to prevent the discolouration. Pop a few ice cubes into the water – it keeps the artichokes crisp and makes it easier to peel them.

Artichokes

  • 12 baby artichokes
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced
  • 1tsp vitamin C powder
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 500ml white wine
  • 500ml white chicken stock

Turn the baby artichokes; place them in ice-cold water, lemon juice and vitamin C powder to prevent them from discolouring.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the shallots, garlic and drained artichokes until they start to take on some colour. Season and add the herbs.

De-glaze the pan with the wine and add the stock. Cover the artichokes with a cartouche and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the artichokes are tender, remove from the heat and leave to cool in the liquid.

Fennel Purée

  • 500g fennel, sliced
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 100ml white wine
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan. Once the butter starts to foam, add the sliced fennel and seasoning, place the lid on top and sweat the fennel until it starts to turn transparent.

De-glaze the pan with the wine and cook until the wine is reduced to syrup. Add the stock and cook until the fennel is tender, then reduce until the stock is completely cooked away.

Purée the fennel until smooth, and chill.

Baby Beets

  • 2 bunches of baby beetroot (about 24 pieces)
  • 80ml olive oil
  • 25ml sherry vinegar
  • 1tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Remove the tops of the beetroots and boil them, until tender, in salted water. Once cooked, refresh and peel the beetroots.

Place the beetroots, oil, sherry vinegar, crushed coriander seeds and garlic, thyme and bay leaf in a vacuum bag and seal on hard vacuum. The beetroots are best left to mature for a day before using.

Oven-Roasted Rump of Lamb

  • 3 rumps of lamb
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 100g podded broad beans
  • Baby beet tops
  • Buckler sorrel leaves
  • Lamb sauce

Heat a frying pan, season the lamb rumps and brown with the butter; place the lamb rumps in a preheated oven at 200°C for 8 minutes.

Let the lamb rumps rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.

To serve

Prepare the artichokes: drain them from the liquid, cut them into quarters and remove the furry bits from the inside. Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook until golden brown, drain.

Heat the baby beetroot, broad beans, lamb sauce and fennel purée.

Arrange the vegetables and purée on the plate and slice the rested lamb and place on the plate. Spoon the hot sauce over, arrange the buckler sorrel leaves and baby beetroot tops. Serve immediately.

Serves 6


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4 Comments to “Oven-Roasted Rump of Lamb with Baby Artichokes, Beet and Fennel Puree”

  1. Angela says:

    Sounds and looks beautiful, do you think this would work with venison subbed in for the lamb as I am catering for a party of 10 next week and have in a saddle of venison and everything else in this recipe is just so seasonal that it seems appropriate.

  2. Hendrik says:

    I’m sure I would love eating this as some of those ingredients are also one of my favorites. Looks great as well!

  3. Rachel says:

    This looks divine. I might even be persuaded to get over my beetroot phobia! And you are right, Britain is an absolute cornucopia of fabulous food, I probably owe it to myself to try something new!

  4. I love lamb. I have a whole lamb on order. It is the only way I can buy local lamb! Nice to get some ideas on how to order my cuts.

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