spring time is the best time for australian lamb!

lamb breast and brain, silken eggplant, baby cavalo, enoki, ginger black vinegar jus

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Skills needed: Advanced

Serves: 4


2 lamb breasts bone in 
500g lamb brains
250g lamb bones
250g chicken wings
1 carrot
2 brown onions
1 Spanish onion
3 bulbs garlic
1 leek
2 bunches thyme
10 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
300g young ginger
2 large purple eggplant (seedless if possible)
400ml milk
2 eggs
100g tempura flour
100g pine nuts

100g rolled quinoa
8 litre lamb stock
200g unsalted butter
1 punnet enoki mushroom
10 eschallots
2 bunches baby cavalo nero (salad kale)
40ml Chinkiang vinegar
20ml Japanese black rice vinegar
250ml dry white wine
2 sticks celery
1 litre vegetable oil
500g salt
30g cooking caramel
1 star anise
50g arrow root
½ bunch green shallots
20ml Korean White sesame oil

method: lamb breast

Preheat pressure cooker and set oven to 180°C. In a large heavy base pot, caramelise onions, carrot, leeks, celery, 2 garlic cloves and 100g ginger. Once coloured, de-glaze with 5 litres of lamb stock and bring to boil. Skim any surface scum with a spoon and add the lamb breast bone in. Carefully transfer to the pressure cooker, season the pressure cooker with peppercorns, 1 bunch thyme and enough salt to ensure the lamb is seasoned all the way through after cooking. Cook on high pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Once the cooking time is complete, carefully release all the pressure. Remove the lid and skim all fat from the surface. Allow the lamb to cool in the liquor until safe enough to handle. Cooling in the liquor will ensure that the lamb remains succulent.

Carefully remove lamb breast from liquor once cooled and remove all bones from the cooked lamb breast (they come out very easily). Cut into approximately 150g portions. Fry the lamb skin side down in hot vegetable oil in a medium sized fry pan. Once skin is crispy, add 2 knobs of butter, a bunch of thyme and 2 bay leaves. Cover with a tight fitting lid and put into oven for 10 minutes.

While the lamb is cooking, you can make and plate the other elements and garnish your plate. 

method: lambs brain

Run brains under cold running water until clear. Remove any brain sinew and cut out the medulla. Cut brains into 2 x 2cm cubes and soak in 200ml milk for 10 minutes. On the stovetop in a medium saucepan, using a thermometer to carefully test the temperature, bring 500ml of oil up to 200°C and hold at that temperature. Finely chop pine nuts and in a large mixing bowl, mix equal amounts of pine nuts and quinoa.

Pane the brains using the tempura flour then into an egg wash and then into the pine nuts and quinoa. Once crumbed, deep fry at 200°C for 30 seconds. Rest on some paper towel until ready to plate.

 method: eggplant

Peel the eggplant and cut into half (length ways) and then into half-moon segments, approx. 2 inches thick. Soak in a brine made from 1 litre water to 100g salt for 15 minutes. 15 minutes before serving, remove from brine and steam in a bamboo steamer on high steam for 5 minutes. Serve 2 half-moons per portion.

method: cavalo nero & enoki mushroom

Cut enoki mushrooms down to 10cm lengths in 2 inch bundles. Caramelise in a hot fry pan, deglaze with butter and remove them allowing them to sit in their cooking juices. Finely slice 1 clove of garlic and sauté in olive oil until golden. Add the baby Cavalo Nero and 50ml lamb stock. Cook down and drain onto paper towel.

method: ginger black vinegar jus

In a large pot, sauté the lamb bones and chicken wings until golden. Add butter, sliced eschallots, 2 cloves garlic, enoki trim, 100g ginger and caramelise. Deglaze the pan with white wine. Add bay leaves and sprig of thyme and 1 whole star anise. Add 2 litres of lamb stock and reduce by 3/4. Thicken with arrow root until you have a jus consistency.

Strain and adjust with black vinegars to your own taste depending on how acidic you prefer your sauce.

method: green shallots

Cut into 5cm baton and fry on high heat in vegetable oil, seasoning slightly with salt.  Dress with white sesame oil just enough to coat.

method: crispy ginger

Preheat a small pot of oil to 170°C. Finely slice ginger on mandolin and fry until golden.

plating up

Divide the plate into three equal sections. Carve each portion of lamb belly into 5cm by 8 cm rectangles, then in half lengthwise. Place lamb in the centre right third of the plate with one piece further then the next. Carve eggplant into half-moons. Place 2 on a 45 degree angle next to lamb. Lay enoki over the eggplant following the natural contour of the half-moon shape. Between eggplants place three little piles of Cavalo Nero. On each side of the eggplant place a nugget of brain keeping in straight alignment with the other garnish. Stand 3 green onion batons up using the eggplant and brain as leverage. On top of each eggplant place a little bit of ginger. Sauce the lamb with 3 tablespoons of sauce.

Chef’s tips

When making stock it’s good to brown the meat and vegetables first.

If you can’t get lamb breast, you can use lamb shoulder or boneless leg.

You can replace lamb stock with chicken stock or vegetable stock.



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