Lamb with Herb Crust and Red Wine Jus – Video Recipe

No. 163

This is another new dish that we’re doing at the Underground Cookery School. We’re taking a chump of lamb and we’re sort of ballentining it, and make it a bit more interesting.

The first thing I’m going to do is take some breadcrumbs and some cumin because I love that combination of lamb and cumin. I first discovered it at a dreadful restaurant in Ibiza called the Elephant, but nevertheless, the combination is still there.

So what we’ve done is I’ve got some breadcrumbs and some cumin and I’m just going to lay them on there and toast those for not long, maybe five minutes. And the idea is it’s like herb crust, but it’s been deconstructed. Oh, very clever. Anyway, in it goes.

The next thing I want to do is just cook some spinach, a bit of groundnut oil in there, and I’ve got my onions and my cumin here. So I’m going to get ready to do those in a sec.

Whilst I’m doing that, I’ve got the chump end of a lamb. If you think about it, legs would go there, saddle would be there, so it’s like the back side. And what we’re going to do is take a fillet out. So I’ll just go along like that. Fillet comes out pretty straightforward. And then if you get around this bone here, you can get the whole thing off. Now we’re not going to cook the whole side. It’s just the fillet that I want. I’ll show you how to take that off in a sec. Move that over there.

The onions are ready to go in, and a little bit of cumin, wooden spoon. It’s really multitasking here.

Right, back to the lamb. This is the fillet that I want. Now this bit here is great for… There’s a lot of meat in there and it’s great for stews and Lancashire hotpot. You can make little koftas with that. Quite often, we make that a mince out of it and then bolognese it or do a little sort of lamb-flavored sausage rolls, make our own sausages with it. So that’s all quite fun.

Anyway, I’m taking the fat off here now. Here we go. That’s pretty much ready to go. Now for the purpose of this demonstration, that’s really all I’m going to work with, but I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m going to waste any of that. Right, I’ve got my cling film here. So we’re just going to give it a bit of a battering. Cling film just protects the meat from what I’m about to do. Here we go. Here we go.

Actually I’m going to cook the spinach off with that. So in that goes, and then just sweat it down, because that’s two for one. So that will carry on. Let’s also take out the breadcrumbs.

So I’m going to lay the spinach inside. You can put whatever you like in here — caramelized onions, cauliflower puree with a bit of a spice in it. And that just rolls up. And then what you need to do is sort of create a bit of a Christmas cracker out of it, like so.

And now I’ve got quite a fancy oven where if I stick it in, I can steam it. But if you don’t have a fancy oven or a steamer, what you can do is put it in a water bath and put the water bath in the oven. And then that way, it will steam, but we made a bit of a Christmas cracker. And what will happen is the proteins will hold it together and we can then cook it off later. So that goes on there, that goes in the oven in 20 or… No, I’d say in this one, it’s probably in about 15 minutes. It will then cook off.

Take the lamb out of the oven. But actually we took it out 10 minutes ago, because if you cook anything in the oven, it should always rest out of the oven for 10 minutes. If you think about it, if it’s cooked, it’s about 70 degrees. Take it out of the oven, it carries on cooking. The other thing I could do is finish it off to make it go crispy on the outside, but I’m not going to bother. I don’t think it needs it. However, I am going to put the juices, the cooking juices of the ballentine in the sauce, because that’s free flavor and that’s the whole point of cooking.

I’ve got this pan on, so that should be quite sizzling hot now. And all I want to do is just put a bit of colour on the potatoes which were peeled and blanched off. In fact, they were cooked all the way through. It’s just to put a bit of colour on them and I want some potatoes for the dish.

The lamb, I’m going to now cut into little pieces. I don’t really want the end bit, so just as well take that bit off too. The rest of it I’m having.

Okay, let’s get those flipped over. Those have got a nice bit of colour on them now. Perfect. Very happy with those. Get those off ASAP.

You can plate out now. We’re going to do five of these and our little ballentine go on top, like so. I’ve got some micro herb which we’re going to stick on top — coriander and red aramanth, for those that are interested.

If you’ve watched any of the other videos, what I’m just trying to do at the moment is just give the dishes a bit more of a contemporary edge to them. The sauce, how did I make this? I made a chicken stock and I reduced it down to a 10th of its volume. And then finally, just to add a bit of that herb crust on for garnish.

And there you have ballantine of lamb with herb crust and red wine jus. Enjoy.

I hope you enjoyed that. I don’t know what the next video is going to be because we haven’t decided yet. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy cooking all of the other things that we’ve been doing recently. Thanks for watching.

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