This started as just an idea… can you even make lamb en croute? First there was confidence, then concern, then a strange conversation with myself. ‘If it doesn’t work first time who cares? Erm.. I care. Well then, why don’t you also cook it sous vide and then if it over or under cooks you can serve that instead and then eat the pastry one yourself later!’…. In the end both ended up on the plate (?!)
one rack of lamb
a handful of frozen peas
pate de foie gras (or any smooth pate)
two leaves of savoy cabbage
one egg for egg wash
pre-rolled puff pastry
parsley oil optional
1. Get your butcher to french trim the lamb rack. Life is too short to be doing this at home. Its also far to short to make puff pastry so just buy that! Cut the rack in half and remove the bones from one portion. Place the one still with the bones attached, well seasoned, in a sous vide bag and cook at 54c for 3 hours+.
2. Place the bones in a hot pan and brown well. Add the tops of the leak and also colour well. Pour in a glass of wine if you have it, or otherwise just cover in water. Reduce down until just a few table spoons of liquid is left. Season and reserve.
3. Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water for a few seconds. Pat dry.
4. Chop up some chanterelles (the less pretty ones!) and cook over a very high heat until most of the moisture is gone. Mix with the pate and chill. Cook the rest in butter, season and keep warm.
5. While the pan is still very hot place the leaks cut side down until burnt. Place straight into a pot of goose fat (if you have some), otherwise butter will also work well. You want to let the leaks cook a little in the fat which give a delicious flavour and shine.
6. Sear the boneless lamb section on a very high heat very quickly, then put straight into the fridge to cool. When its cold cover in the pate and then wrap in the cabbage leaves. Then carefully wrap again in the pastry and brush with egg wash. Refrigerate again until cold then cook in a hot oven (200c) for 25-30 mins until golden brown.
7. Cook the peas very quickly in boiling salted water until they rise to the top, then puree as fine as you can. You can add some mint if you like.
8. When ready, take the lab out of the oven to rest and remove the sous vide section from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Sear on a very high heat very quickly to get colour on the outside – you do not want to cook the meat.
9. With a very sharp knife cut a section from each and plate!