I love Arabic spicing so wanted to carry the flavour of the lamb through the rest of the dish. As it was scotch egg week at home, I thought what better than a falafel egg, especially as there will be no messing about breadcrumbing the thing. I’m just disappointed I forgot to slice it open for the photo. The bright green interior with a runny egg yolk made the plate look so more appealing. The cannellini hummus did taste different to normal hummus, but for some reason totally complemented the lamb. All of this can prepared ahead, with only frying falafels and cooking lamb to finish.
Lamb : 300g lamb loin( it’s the juicy bit from a rack, a butcher will remove it for you, keep the bones.) 2tsp ras-el-hanout/ oil.
Baba Ghanoush: 1 aubergine/ 1tbsp tahini/ 1 clove garlic( crushed)/1 lemon/parsley/ 1tbsp yoghurt( not essential)
Falafel eggs: 3 quail eggs( boiled for 2 mins, cooled,peeled) can chickpeas/bunch parsley/1 tbsp cumin/ 1tsp paprika/ 3 cloves garlic/1/2 tsp baking powder/ extra flour.
Hummus: 1 can cannellini beans/ 1 tbsp tahini/ 1-2 tsp paprika/lemon juice/ 2 clove garlic.
Sauce: Reserved lamb bones/ carrot/onion/tomato puree/thyme/ garlic/bay leaf/port or Madeira 75 ml/ red wine 350ml/ beef or chicken or lamb stock 500ml.
Mash: 500g potatoes/ pinch saffron/ 150ml milk/ knob of butter/ reserved peelings.
1) Rub lamb with spices and oil, marinade for at least two hours, best overnight.
2) Char aubergine over an open flame or under a grill if you’re on electric. Wrap in cling film for 5 mins, pull off skin. Add flesh to processor with remaining ingredients, purée. Adding juice of half the lemon to begin with. Add some seasoning, taste and adjust to your liking with the remaining lemon juice.
3) Start the sauce, brown lamb bones in a touch of oil. Remove, add vegetables, thyme and garlic, tomato puree soften for 5 mins. Turn heat up, add port, reduce until sticky. Put bones back in plus bay leaf,add wine and reduce by half. Then add stock, reduce again until starting to coat the back of a spoon. Add a knob of butter to add a nice sheen.
4) Blend all the falafel ingredients together except the flour. I find depending on how much parsley is added, the mixture can be quite wet, not good as they collapse when fried. Therefore I add some flour so that they become slightly stodgy, but easily pliable still. Place a piece of cling film on bench, add heaped tbsp of mixture and spread to 1cm thickness. Put egg in the middle, then pick up edges of cling film, pull together the corners and close the gap at top. Repeat with the remaining eggs. I’ve made you make three as they’re so unique you will both want more at the end, so you can have another half each. Chill for at least 30 mins.
5) Peel spuds, simmer for 20 mins so that they don’t get too wet or breakdown on a heavy boil. Drain then put back into the pan to steam dry. Meanwhile heat milk with a pinch of saffron and the reserved peelings. Simmer for 10 mins. This gives the milk a great potatoie taste enhancing the mash. Pass potato through a ricer, add milk plus as much butter as you wish. Low fat spread even works, but don’t tell anyone. Salt and white pepper.
6) I decided to slightly char the beans to add another depth of flavour. I heated them in a pan with the garlic and some oil until they dried out and began to brown. Add to processor and puree with remaining ingredients, tasting as you go. Salt and pepper again.
Heat oven to 90c
7) This is how I now cook meat at home. It’s a halfway house between sousvide(low temperature cooking) and normal. Heat griddle to very hot. Sear lamb on each side for 30secs, remove and wrap each piece in cling film place in oven for 20-25 mins. It needs to be 55-60c, 55 medium rare, 60 medium. Rest it while you cook falafels and plate up.
8) Heat oil to 180c, fry falafels until brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
Now assemble dish, make a swoosh of hummus through centre of plate and place lamb at one end. Put a large quenelle or splodge of mash on one side, baba ghanoush on other topped with falafel egg. Drizzle over gravy, hopefully neater than mine.
Critique: Another dish which tastes as good as it looks. The falafel egg was perfection, beautiful runny yolk, crispy outside with a light falafel body. Maybe a bit more cumin but that’s down to personal choice. Baba ghanoush delicious, cannellini bean hummus was strange at first, tasted a bit yoghurty. But paired with the lamb it was heaven. Think of Indian lamb with a fresh raita.