Lamb and lettuce is the simple combination at the heart of this restaurant-quality dish from Tom Kitchin. And what a combination it proves: the crisp, farm-fresh flavour of the lettuce is the perfect partner to the richness of the lamb. A great recipe to try out in spring.
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Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
Season the lamb belly and with the fennel seeds, cumin, salt and pepper. Firmly roll up the belly into a cylinder and tie with a butchers string
1 lamb belly
1 tbsp of fennel seeds
1 tbsp of ground cumin
Place the rolled belly into a casserole dish and cover liberally with olive oil. Cook in the oven for 4-5 hours until the meat is tender
Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to cool and drain before wrapping tightly in cling film. Place the lamb in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until set
For the lettuce sauce, start by blanching the baby gem in lightly salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the lettuce with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of iced water for 2 minutes. Once cold, squeeze out all excess moisture and store in the fridge
4 baby gem lettuces, roughly chopped
Meanwhile, heat some vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and slowly sweat the onions with a pinch of salt. Once soft, but still without colour, add the chicken stock and cream. Reduce the mixture by almost 2/5's and then transfer to a blender
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
250ml of chicken stock
250ml of whipping cream
Add the chilled blanched lettuce and blitz the mixture until smooth. Set aside until ready to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Season the lamb rumps with salt and pepper before browning all over in a hot pan with a little oil
4 lamb rumps, about 250g each
Transfer the lamb to the oven and cook for 4-6 minutes to achieve a medium-rare finish. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before plating
Meanwhile, remove the rolled set lamb belly from the fridge and cut into 1.5cm thick slices. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and cook each slice for around 4 minutes on each side until golden brown
To cook the baby gems, slice them in half and remove the outer leaves. Season with salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan with some oil, cut-side down, until golden brown
2 baby gem lettuces
1 tbsp of vegetable oil
Season the lamb kidneys with salt and pepper and cook in a hot pan for 2-3 minutes - they should still be pink in the middle
2 lamb kidneys, cleaned and halved
Reheat the lettuce sauce and spoon a little onto each plate. Slice your rested rump of lamb and arrange the slices on the plate. Garnish with the baby-gem lettuce, a slice of the lamb belly and half a kidney. Serve immediately
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