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Lamb Loin with Aubergine Purée, Potato Terrine, Lamb Leg Croquettes Tomatoes, Mint Oil & Feta Snow

This is another recipe for a fancy dinner party. It needs quite a lot of prep but the classic combination of the best quality ingredients will be sure to please. Don't be put off by the long cooking time, most of that is to account for slow cooking the lamb leg which is completely passive. You will probably end up with extra croquettes and terrine but they are both great for snacking!

Serves 4

Prep time 2 hours

Cook time 4 hours plus resting


Ingredient:

Lamb leg croquette makes 15-20

500g lamb leg, deboned and sinew removed

4 tbsp seasoned flour

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 sticks celery

1 carrot

1 onions

2 garlic cloves

2 sticks of rosemary

2 bay leaves

150ml red wine

750ml chicken or lamb stock

1 packet of powdered gelatine

3 eggs

80g seasoned Flour

300g panko breadcrumbs

1l vegetable oil for frying


Potato terrine

2kg red lady potatoes

2 tsp thyme leaves

40g potato flour

200g salted butter, melted

2 tbsp rapeseed oil


Aubergine puree

3 aubergines

3 garlic

3 thyme sprig

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt


Tomatoes

300g medium tomatoes

A few thyme sprigs

4 garlic cloves

100ml rapeseed oil

1 tsp salt


Mint oil

70g mint

200ml light olive oil

2 tsp sugar

A pinch of salt

Lamb

600g lamb loin, free of fat and sinew, sliced into 4 x 8cm pieces

1 tsp white pepper

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

1.5 tbsp butter

2 garlic clives, unpeeled

1 rosemary sprig


120g block of feta, you won't use all of it

Nasturtium leaves (optional)



Method:

  1. Start with the croquettes, the day before you want to serve; preheat oven to 160C. Cut the lamb leg into 2 inch pieces and dust with the seasoned flour. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a flameproof casserole pan, with tight fitting lid and add the lamb. Cook over a high hear for 5-7 minutes to brown and seal the meat, turning occasionally. Remove the lamb to a plate.

  2. Put the pan back on a medium heat and add the remaining oil. Roughly chop the onion and add to the pan, along with the whole garlic cloves and cook for 3 minutes before adding the roughly chopped celery and carrots and the herbs. Add back in the lamb, the stock and red wine and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 3 hours.

  3. Once the lamb has cooked, remove from the oven and strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Reduce the sauce on the hob so that there is around 1/3 left and it has thickened.

  4. Whilst the sauce is reducing, remove the meat from the sieve, leaving behind the veg and herbs and finally shred in clean bowl. Add 12g of powdered gelatine to the sauce and boil for 3 minutes. Add the sauce to the lamb and mix well. Leave it to cool and then pop it in the freezer for half an hour to firm up.

  5. Whisk the eggs in a wide shallow bowl and put the flour and breadcrumbs in another. Roll the lamb mix between wet hands to make a golf ball sized croquettes. Double pané the balls by rolling them in the flour, followed by the egg and then the breadcrumbs, then repeat in the egg and the bread crumbs. Pop them back in the fridge until needed.

  6. Also start the terrine day before you want to serve it. Preheat the oven to 180C. Peel and finely slice the potatoes on a mandoline (around 2mm).

  7. Brush the base and sides of a loaf tin with a little of the melted butter and arrange the potatoes in layers, sprinkling with thyme leaves and a little potato flour and a couple of tablespoons of melted butter between the layers.

  8. Once you’ve layered the potatoes up to the top of the tin, pour the remaining butter over it and cover the top with foil. Put it in a roasting tin and place in the oven for 2 hours.

  9. Remove from the oven and remove the foil. Place another loaf tin on top with some cans on top to add pressure and leave in the fridge overnight to compress and firm up.

  10. The next day, put the feta in the freezer for at least 3 hours. Put the terrine back into a 180 oven for 5 minutes and then invert onto a chopping board. Slice the terrine into portions of around 1.5cm thick, slicing off the sides to make them into neat rectangles.

  11. To prepare the aubergine puree, preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the aubergines in half length ways and score the flesh diagonally.

  12. Crush the garlic, thyme, cumin, oil and salt in a pestle and mortar to a rough paste. Spread the paste over the inside of the aubergines and put in deep baking dish. Top the dish with one layer of parchment followed by two layers of foil, securing tightly around the edges. Cook the aubergines for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they are tender.

  13. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out and onto a chopping board and finely chop. Taste and season with salt and black pepper and scoop into a small saucepan until needed.

  14. For the tomatoes, lightly score a cross through the skin of each tomato and place in a bowl. Cover with just enough boiling water to cover and leave for 30 seconds, then drain. Carefully peel off and discard the skins.

  15. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper and put the tomatoes in along with the oil, thyme, garlic and salt and set aside until needed.

  16. For the mint oil, blanch the mint in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes Squeeze out as much water as possible and add to a high sped blender with the salt, sugar and oil and blend for 2 minutes. Strain through fine muslin, resting on a sieve into a small bowl. To serve it you can either decant it into a sauce bottle and spoon onto the plate.

  17. When you are almost ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180C and roast the tomatoes for 30 minutes.

  18. Season the lamb loin with white pepper and fine salt. Heat the oil in a medium non stick frying pan over a medium high heat. Once hot, add the lamb and fry for 4 minutes for rare and 6 minutes for medium on each side before adding the butter, garlic and rosemary and basting for 2 minutes more. Remove to a plate and allow rest while you plate up everything else. Slice the edges off the loins to make neat squares and slice in half to serve.

  19. Heat the 1l vegetable in a medium in a saucepan, until a small square of bread crisps in 1 minute. Fry the croquettes in batches, using a slotted spoon to transfer to a tray lined with kitchen paper.

  20. Heat the oil for the terrine in a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the slices until the golden and crisp; around 10 minutes. Warm the aubergine puree gently.

  21. Remove the tomatoes from the oil to another baking tray or plate and allow to cool a little before plating.

  22. To plate, quenelle a spoonful of the aubergine puree onto one side of the plate. Spoon a smaller amount on too and put the croquette on top. Add the roasted tomato, the terrine and the lamb, followed by the mint oil. Grate over a little of the feta, arrange a few nasturtium leaves (if using) and serve immediately.



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