RECIPE | LENNOX HASTIE
October 16, 2017
Lennox Hastie will be doing a live cooking demonstration at the Market this November.
Head to Carriageworks Farmers Market every Saturday 8am-1pm to stock up on the freshest produce.
Lamb rump cap, or chump, is an extremely underrated cut of meat, as it has a great balance of texture and flavour. Ask your butcher to leave the rump cap intact, with just the skin off, as it is the rich cap of fat that protects and bastes the meat as it cooks. When we began experimenting with dry-ageing lamb at the restaurant, we were really impressed at the difference that it made to the meat even after one week. The meat became softer with a richer, more pronounced lamb flavour. You may be able to find aged lamb but it is not strictly necessary.
Fresh borlotti beans have a nutty flavour and a creamy texture that is hard to replicate in this dish if using the dried beans. The vibrancy of the nettle finishes the borlotti with a fresh spinach-like flavour that is a tonic to the richness of the lamb rump.
Recipe type: savoury
Wood type: grapevines or olive
Heat: offset, intense embers
Additional equipment: grill, cast-iron pan
4 lamb rumps (caps on)
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh borlotti (cranberry) beans, podded
1 carrot, halved
1 celery stalk, halved
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 fennel, halved
1 leek, halved
2 garlic cloves
1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) chicken stock
extra-virgin olive oil (use a greener, peppery variety, such as leccino or picual)
400 g (14 oz) nettles (see Note)
1 bunch cavolo nero, leaves picked and washed
12 garlic flowers (optional)
Wear gloves while picking and washing nettle leaves, as they sting. If nettles are unavailable, you can use spinach instead.
Prepare your embers and arrange a grill directly over the top.
Prepare the lamb. Trim the excess fat from the rump cap, reserving the trimmings. With a sharp knife, score the fat cap on top of the rump, and leave to come to room temperature.
Place the borlotti beans in a cast-iron pan together with the carrot, celery, onion, fennel, leek, garlic and the reserved lamb trimmings.
Pour the chicken stock into the pan, bring to the boil, add a good glug of olive oil, season to taste and simmer gently for 40 minutes until the beans are tender. Remove from the heat and leave the ingredients to cool in the stock before discarding the vegetables and lamb trimmings.
In salted boiling water, blanch the nettles for 2–3 minutes until tender. Refresh in ice water and drain. Blend the nettles with a hand blender, adding a little water to form a smooth purée. Season, pass through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve.
Offset your embers, banking them up so they are parallel with the grill. Place the lamb rumps, fat side down, adjacent to and 10 cm (4 in) from the embers. Season well. Allow the fat to slowly render for 8 minutes or until the fat has caramelised.
Turn the rump caps and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until medium-rare. Season well and set aside in a warm place to rest for 8–10 minutes.
Warm the borlotti beans in stock, and add the nettle purée.
Grill the cavolo nero for 1 minute, season with sea salt and remove.
Slice the lamb rumps across the grain and serve immediately with the borlotti beans in nettle purée, cavolo nero and, if using, garlic flowers.
This is an edited extract from Finding Fire by Lennox Hastie published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $60 and is available in stores nationally.