Lamb Loin, Romesco and Artichokes

Stuart McVeigh from No35 at Sofitel on Collins shows us how to make this gorgeously delicious lamb dish.

Ingredients

  • 600g cooked eggplant flesh
  • 1 bulb roasted garlic
  • 3 tomatoes, halved and roasted
  • 20ml white balsamic
  • 20g roasted and peeled hazelnuts
  • 20g roated blanched almonds
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 65ml hazelnut oil

METHOD

  1. to get the eggplant pulp split whole eggplants in half and roughly score the meat. Gently salt the flesh and leave for ½ hour. At this point pat the flesh dry and rub with garlic, add a couple of sprigs of thyme and rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil and wrap in tin foil. Bake in the oven @ 160c until the flesh is soft, this should take approx 40 mins but just check to make sure.
  2. Once cooked scoop the flesh out and sit in a colander to let any excess liquid drip out.
  3. Whilst the eggplants are cooking you can roast the tomatoes at the same time, you want them to take a touch of colour as this is really going to accent the flavour but not too dark.
  4. In the same period roast your nuts and peel if needed and also roast your garlic. Again with the garlic just wrap in tin foil and bake in the oven with the eggplant, the garlic will take a similar time and the when the feel the cloves they should be soft. You can just take the cloves off the bulb when ready and push through a sieve to obtain the puree.
  5. Now just add everything in to the blender and puree to a smooth paste, taste for seasoning and pass through a fine sieve.

Cooking liquid for artichokes

  • 1 litre white wine vinegar
  • 1 litre water
  • ½ litre white wine
  • 2.5 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted
  • 8 peeled shallots, sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic sliced
  • 75g salt
  • 150 g sugar
  • ½ bunch each tarragon, sage and thyme
  1. Toast the seeds in the pan until fragrant.
  2. Add shallots and garlic and sweat briefly before adding your liquids and bringing up to the simmer, add the salt and sugar.
  3. Cook for a few minutes before adding the herbs and then remove from the heat.
  4. Cool the liquid.
  5. It is important that the liquid is prepared before the artichokes, the vegetable will oxidise very quickly when cleaned so if the liquid is there they can go straight in and the acidity in the liquid will prevent that.
  6. Cook the artichokes gently in the stock covered by a cartouche, this is a piece of parchment cut to cover the inside of the pan completely and keeps the artichokes submerged as they cook so giving an even cook. This cartouche can be used in any number of applications when cooking on the stove or in the oven.
  7. The artichokes should never boil and cooked until they are tender, you can check by piercing with a small knife just at the top of the stem under the actual bulb, if the point goes in with no fuss then the chokes are ready and you can remove the pan from the heat and cool.
  8. Once cooled remove the artichokes from the pan and with a teaspoon scrape out the choke from the middle, this is the fibrous, hairy part and can be eaten, you can then cut the artichokes as you want, just remember to keep them in the cooking liquid until you want to use them. If you are going to pan fry them just dry them off before placing in the pan to sauté, pan fried artichokes are truly delicious.

Lamb.

Buy the lamb from your butcher and get him to clean it for you, use a butcher that you know and trust, lamb is not the cheapest and you want to get a good product.

When you cook the lamb make sure your oven is ready, 180c should be fine and that your pan is on and hot. Once these things are ready you can cook the lamb, season the side of the lamb you are putting in the pan first and seal until you have an even golden colour, season the other side and turn the lamb over and seal the same as the first. Transfer the lamb to the oven and cook 3 mins each side and check. It is important that you rotate your meat when you cook it so that you get an even temperature all the way through and the meat is evenly cooked from each side. If the meat is warm in the centre by the time you rest it it will be perfect pink. If you like your meat cooked more then put back in the oven again for a couple of minutes each side and check again.

Before you plate your dish you will need to flash the meat back through the oven so that it is properly hot again.

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