Acclaimed chef-patron of Maison Bleue, Pascal Canevet shares a simple recipe for the weekend
With the promise of warmer days ahead, a fluttering of snow to keep us on course, and the reopening of business, we are all yearning to experience the flavours and vitality of the season.
Feasting, of course, is a priority for me and spring lamb is my choice to mark the occasion. Lamb has such a delicate, succulent taste; and it becomes meltingly tender when roasted to a deep rosy pink, medium-rare.
The joy of this recipe is that it may be prepared in advance and portions may be easily adjusted making it perfect for al fresco entertaining.
Buy the best locally-produced meat you can, go to your butcher or local farmers’ market for advice. I use organically reared lamb from Shimpling Park Farm in Suffolk.
"Celebrate all that spring brings – a time to restart, refresh and be thankful for good food, family and friends"
SPRING LAMB NOISETTES, HERITAGE CARROT AND SWEET POTATO
4 150g noisettes of spring lamb
4 baby Heritage carrots
100g goose fat
15g of freshly chopped rosemary
2 garlic cloves
2 slices medium-sliced white bread
50g salted melted butter
20g unsalted butter
10g freshly-chopped parsley
2 large sweet potatoes
20ml whipping cream
10ml olive oil
150ml lamb stock
2g crunched black peppercorns
Salt and black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 120C. Melt the goose fat in an oven-safe pan over a medium heat. Slice the carrots lengthwise and add to the pan with the rosemary and one garlic clove. Transfer to the oven. Roast the carrots for two hours basting regularly. Once cooked, leave to rest in a warm place.
Tear the bread into small pieces, process in a food processor with one garlic clove, 5g of rosemary, the parsley and melted butter. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Spread the fresh crumbs in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in a 120C oven, stirring occasionally until browned and dry. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 2-inch chunks. Cook in boiling water until the potatoes are tender. Drain, then purée in a food processor with the cream and olive oil until smooth. Season to taste.
Pre-heat the oven to 90C. Add 20g of unsalted butter to a frying pan and allow to get hot. Season the noisettes and place in the pan. Sear the lamb until golden brown. Once nicely coloured, remove from the pan and place the noisettes in the oven and cook for up to 15 minutes. Ensure the meat stays nice and blush pink.
PASCAL’S TOP TIP
Spring lamb should look firm, a slightly pink colour with a velvety texture
For the jus:
Deglaze the frying pan with the lamb stock, 5g of freshly-chopped rosemary and 2g of crunched black peppercorn. Heat through and reduce by half. Add a teaspoon of butter and stir. Pass through a sieve and reserve.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the sweet potato purée down the centre of four serving plates. Cut each noisette of lamb in half and place both pieces on the side of the purée. Garnish each plate evenly with the goose fat roasted carrots and spoon two tablespoons of rosemary crumbs on top. Finish each plate with 3 tablespoons of jus.
And to drink
Spring lamb demands a wine that does not overpower. Karine recommends a bottle of Cornas. A rich, full-bodied red wine with a burst of aromatic notes of berry fruits and a clean mineral freshness on the palate. Decant and enjoy at room temperature.
Pascal Canevet is chef-patron of award-winning Maison Bleue, an intimate fine-dining restaurant serving a modern French menu
Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds
Call 01284 760623