Lamb Rump, Jerusalem Artichoke Puree & Pommes Paille
inspired by Petit Pois Brighton
After yesterday’s post about Jerusalem Artichokes we are carringing on with that theme. Mainly because I have some left that need eating.
We are also carrying along the coast. To Brighton.
I love Brighton. It’s one of my favourite seaside towns. Only an hour away from London, so it makes a great day trip or a lovely long weekend.
Sadly Brighton, unlike places further south west, is in Tier 4 and so no restaurant trips any time soon.
However Petit Pois, a lovely French bistro in The Lanes, is not letting that stop them. If you’re local they are still doing Sunday roasts, and a rather fab looking New Years Eve menu, all available for collection or delivery.
I’m taking inspiration from a dish they had on the menu earlier this year.
“Lamb rump, Jerusalem artichoke puree, salsify, pommes paille”
I’m really looking forward to cooking something that isn’t a Christmas leftover. I’ve had my fill of duck, ham and sausages. For now anyway.
Before I get started there are two questions I need to answer. First, what are “pommes paille”? And second, where do I find salsify?
The first question is easier to answer (thank you Google). Pomme Paille is simply the French way of describing shoestring fries. So that’s easy enough to make.
But where to find salsify? Another vegetable I’ve heard of but never eaten.
I discover this root vegetable is currently in season so it shouldn’t be too hard.
But no amount of searching during our Christmas food shopping produced the desired root. We couldn’t find it anywhere.
Not on Farmdrop. No sign at Borough Market. Not even at a local greengrocers. I double check. Its in season. It’s grown in the UK.
Where the hell is it?
I stop myself buying a kilo of it from some fine foods online store. That seems like a lot (both of the vegetable and a lot of money to pay for it). I’m going to have to do without.
Since salsify is a root, I’m going to use another, more common, root as a substitute. Carrots. Good old, can find them everywhere, have them growing in the garden, carrots.
I’m making a red wine sauce and using some sorrel leaves as the green garnish (as I have no idea what the restaurant used). But sorrel is one of my new favourite flavours. Sharp, fresh and lemony, this leaf brings added zing to anything. We even added some to our Christmas morning scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. If you haven’t tried it, I would highly recommend.
Sadly I can’t say the same for salsify, as I’ve not found it yet, let alone tasted it.
So with most of the ingredients assembled it’s time to cook. Finally a break from leftovers!
For the red wine sauce I finely chop a shallot and some garlic and fry gently in butter. In goes some red wine to reduce, and then I add about the same amount of chicken stock. I leave it to simmer with a sprig of rosemary and a bay leaf. It can slowly reduce as I make the rest of dinner.
To make the artichoke puree I boil them in water and lemon juice. Once soft I drain and blitz in the food processor. A bit of double cream and another blitz and then seasoned with salt and pepper. Now I simply keep that warm until I need it.
The carrots go into the oven to get roasted with some garlic, thyme and olive oil. I add a little lemon zest too.
Now for the crispy potatoes. I chop a potato into very fine batons, sprinkle with salt and leave them for 10 minutes before patting them dry with kitchen paper.
Then lamb gets seasoned and placed fat side down in a oven proof frying pan, allowing the fat to render. After about 5 minutes I then sear it on all sides. I add a knob of butter to the pan, baste the meat, and then put it into an oven. How long for? If I’m honest I’m not sure. I read conflicting arguments about how to cook lamb online and it just confuses me more. I go for 10 minutes in a 200°C oven and then almost the same again to rest the meat.
This turns out rare. Very rare. Aidan loves meat like this so he’s happy. If I’m honest I prefer my lamb a little closer to medium than this. But I’m hungry and so it’s not going back in the pan now. It’s going on the plate.
Finally I heat about 1cm of oil in a wide frying pan and add the potatoes. They take about 5 minutes to crisp up and go golden. Move them around from time to time, as I discover they like to stick together in one deep fried potato web. Which looks great, but isn’t particularly useful if you want to put them on more than one plate.
It’s a lovely dinner. Even the super pink lamb is still delicious. The Jerusalem artichokes and carrots are both sweet and buttery. I’m glad the sorrel is on the plate to cut through all this richness.
I’ve still got a long way to go to perfect my meat cookery, that’s for sure. I just don’t have the confidence, or the instincts, that an experienced chef has. Maybe that can be my New Year’s resolution? Learn to cook meat better.
And find salsify. Right now the meat cooking seems more achievable.
Lamb Rump with Jerusalem Artichoke Puree, Carrots, Sorrel & Pommes Paille
- 250 g lamb rump
- 1 knob butter
- olive oil
- 1 handful sorrel leaves
Red Wine Sauce
- 1 shallot
- 1 garlic clove
- 250 ml red wine
- 250 ml chicken stock
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
Jerusalem Artichoke Puree
- 6 Jerusalem artichokes
- ½ lemon (juice)
- 1 tbsp double cream
- 2 carrots
- ½ lemon (zest)
- 1 sprig thyme
- olive oil
Pommes Paille (Shoestring Potatoes)
- 1 potato
- vegetable oil, for frying
- First start your red wine sauce. Chop your shallot and garlic. Melt a knob of butter in a small saucepan and add the shallot and garlic once it has melted. Cook gently so the veg softens but doesnt go brown. After about 10 minutes add the red wine. Turn up the heat and let it reduce down. Once it has reduced by at least half add the stock. Add the rosemary and bay and leave to simmer and reduce gently. Once reduced, season and keep warm until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the carrots in half lengthways and place in a roasting dish. Season and drizzle with olive oil. Add the zest of half a lemon and some thyme before placing in the oven to roast for 30-40mins, until soft and slightly charred.
- To make the Jerusalem artichoke puree add the juice of half a lemon and the artichokes to a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the artichkokes are soft. Drain and add to a food processor. Blend until smooth, add the double cream and season. Keep warm until needed.
- Peel the potato and cut into very fine matchsticks. Lay them out in a single layer on a plate and sprinkle with salt. Leave for at least 10 minutes and then pat dry. To fry the potatoes heat 1cm of oil in a deep frying pan. Once hot add the potatoes, keeping them well spaced, and fry for about 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.
- To cook the lamb first season it with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Place fat side down in a hot, oven proof, pan and cook until the fat starts to render and it is golden on top. This should take at least 5 minutes on a medium heat. Then sear each side of the meat briefly and add a knob of butter to the pan. Baste the meat and then put it in the oven until cooked to your liking. 10 minutes produced rare meat in my oven, so cook for longer for medium or well done.
- To plate up add the puree to the plates first and top with the roasted carrots. Cut the meat into thick slices and place a couple on each plate. Scatter with sorrel leaves, pour on the red wine sauce and finish with a tangle of crispy potatoes. Enjoy!