Lamb and mint are a match made in heaven. I made some fresh mint jellies, so when served as little cubes just give a nice hit of mint to complement the lamb. I made some little duck bonbons, the day before I just roasted two duck legs, kept the fat for the fondants then used the leg meat to create these little crunchy bites for a texture contrast, with a richly flavoured but smooth filling. Serve your favourite vegetables as you choose, I chose the aubergines for presentation more than any other reason.
Lamb: 1 lamb loin, 300g (serves 2) rosemary, garlic.
Bonbons: 2 Duck legs( could use 2 large chicken legs) roasted, meat removed and fat reserved. Egg wash, breadcrumbs.
Fondant Potatoes: 1 large potato, Maris piper/ marfona seem best.
Mint Jelly: 2 bunches fresh mint, 50 ml white wine vinegar, sugar to taste(approx 50g) salt, agar agar 1tsp.
Gravy: 1 small onion, couple of carrots, 2 celery sticks, bay leaf, 75 ml port/ Madeira, 350 ml red wine, 350ml stock, 1 tbsp red currant jelly, rosemary and garlic.
1) To begin, place lamb with a tsp of oil, garlic and rosemary in a container/ bag and marinate for as long as possible. Take it out of fridge an hour before serving.
2) Prepare the bonbons, put the duck leg meat in a food processor.Pulse until sticking together. Add a touch of salt and cream. Make just smaller than golf ball sizes. Put aside to set. Just before serving, coat in egg and breadcrumbs, shallow fry until golden.
3)Make the mint jelly, bring the vinegar to the boil with 50 ml water. Put mint into this and boil until it turns brown. Remove from heat, let infuse for 5 mins before straining. Put liquid back in a pan, add sugar and salt to taste. It should be sour not too sweet, enough to taste a little bit without being as sharp as lemon juice. Add a tsp of agar agar flakes and bring to the boil. Boil while stirring constantly for a couple of mins. Place in a container so that it will be about 1cm in height. Set aside to cool and set.
4) Begin the gravy by caramelising the onion with the rosemary, add garlic, carrots, celery and bay leaf. Turn heat up to full add the port, let reduce to sticky glaze. Then add half red currant jelly, red wine, reduce wine by half. Add stock reduce again by half. Season and taste it should just have a slight taste of sweetness, as if you have half a sugar in a cup of tea. If you can’t taste any add a little extra jam. Add a knob of butter for a glossy finish.
5) Make the potato fondants as per my other recipe, but using duck fat rather than butter.
Heat oven to 60c or 180c
6) Brown lamb in a hot pan for 30s a side. Wrap in cling film and place in oven at 60c for 25-30 mins. This will be medium rare. if you don’t fancy that, give it a minute per side in a pan, then put in oven at 180c for 10-15 mins until cooked to your liking.
7) Roast carrots in a knob of butter, add a tsp of caraway seeds and some salt. Add water/stock to cover then let this boil away and leave a buttery glaze.
9) For my aubergine I just sliced it and griddled it.
10) Cut jelly up into 1cm or smaller cubes.
To plate up, place aubergine in centre of plate. Put a fondant either side. A piece of lamb on top with a bonbon. Arrange carrots nicely, then drizzle gravy around the plate.