Roast Lamb with nettle puree & cherry gel
The Corinthia Palace Hotel chefs are at it again.
Executive Sous Chef Jonathan Zammit, Chef de Partie Victor Vella & Chef de Partie Reuben Borg from Corinthia Palace Hotel
200g nettles, cleaned (leaves only)
40g potatoes, cut into small cubes
Salt and pepper
4 x 2 or 3 bone lamb racks (French trim)
45ml olive oil
1 garlic clove
Few sprigs of rosemary & thyme
20g Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
2 baking potatoes
175g cauliflower florets
100g veal sweetbreads, blanched and cubed
2g toasted cumin seeds
2g chilli flakes
salt, to taste
2 eggs, beaten
50g plain flour, you may need extra
For the lamb, heat the olive oil in an ovenproof pan. Season the lamb racks with salt and pepper and add to the pan, sear until coloured all over. Remove the lamb from the pan and pour out the excess oil. Place the pan back on the heat and turn the heat down to low. Return the lamb back to the pan, fat-side down, and cook for 8 minutes to render the fat. Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme and place in an oven for 10 minutes. Then remove and add the butter baste liberally to flavour, and allow to rest. Pat dry and brush with the mustard.
For the croquettes, score potatoes with a knife and bake in an oven set at 190°C. Allow to cook through, and once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides and place in a large bowl. Blanch the cauliflower in boiling salted water until tender, then leave to cool. Mash the cauliflower lightly with a fork and add it to the potato mixture. Add the toasted cumin seeds, chilli, salt and black pepper, then mix. Add the veal sweetbreads and gently toss the mixture until evenly combined. Make the croquettes by rolling. Next, coat them in plain flour, egg and finally panko breadcrumbs. Place the croquettes in the fridge to chill and set. When you are ready to fry them, heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Deep fry the croquettes for 2–3 minutes or until golden, then transfer onto kitchen paper with a slotted spoon.
For the nettle puree, blanch the nettles in boiling salted water for 30 seconds and refresh in iced water, then drain and squeeze out all excess moisture. Cook the potatoes in boiling water until soft, then pass through a fine sieve. Blend the nettles in a food processor to get a smooth puree. Warm the butter and milk and fold into the sieved potatoes. Adjust seasoning, and just before serving, fold in the nettle puree. This needs to be served immediately to retail the fresh green colour.
To dress the plate, place a large spoon of nettle puree, the carved lamb and decorate with veal sweetbread croquette and a tart cherry puree.