A knockout lamb main course. Why choose between slow cooked and beautifully rare when you can have both?
- ½ shoulder of lamb (about 1kg in weight)
- 3 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 carrots, unpeeled (but scrubbed clean) and halved lengthways
- 2 sticks celery, chopped in 2
- 1 bunch rosemary
- 2 bulbs garlic
- 500ml hot lamb stock
- 3 anchovies (in oil)
- ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
- ½ bunch mint, finely chopped
- 2 racks lamb (about 550g each in weight)
- 1 knob butter
- 2l veg or sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
- Begin by making the lamb bon bons. Heat a splash of olive oil in an ovenproof dish, big enough to hold the lamb shoulder. Season the shoulder with salt and pepper, and brown all over on a high heat for about 5 mins. Remove the lamb, drain off all but 1 tsp of fat, then add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for a couple of mins until brown around the edges, then add half of the rosemary. Sit the shoulder on top of the veg, pour in enough hot stock so it comes up to the top of the veg (but doesn’t touch the bottom of the lamb), cover, and cook at 125C for 8 hours, basting every hour, and topping up with boiling water if needed.
- Remove the shoulder from the oven and set aside in the cooking dish. When completely cool, transfer the lamb to a large bowl, pull the meat away from the bone, and then shred with a fork. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the stock from the cooking dish to the shredded lamb, and mix until combined. Take a walnut-sized amounts of the mixture and roll unto balls. Cover, and chill overnight in the fridge.
- To made the dressing, finely chop the anchovies until they form a paste, combine with the chopped parsley and mint, loosen with some oil from the anchovy jar, and set aside.
- Remove the racks of lamb from the fridge an hour before cooking to bring up to room temperature, and preheat the oven to 200C. Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan, season the racks with salt and pepper, cook fat side down in the pan for a couple of mins until the fat has started to render, then turn over and sear the other side. Add the remaining rosemary to the pan, along with the knob of butter, and transfer to the oven for 15 mins. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 mins.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, enough that the oil is about 7cm deep. It’s hot enough at about 180C or when a small piece of bread turns brown and crisp within 30 seconds.
- Take a ball of shoulder meat and roll it first in flour, then the beaten eggs, and finally the breadcrumbs. The ball should be totally covered in breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining balls.
- Using a slotted spoon, lower 4-6 balls into the oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove and set aside on kitchen paper while you fry the remaining ones.
- Carve the lamb rack into individual cutlets, season with salt, and serve with the lamb bon bons and herb and anchovy dressing.