Hogget mezze with falafel, walnuts and mint oil

Phil Fanning's creative hogget dish is a molecular take on a mezze spread, though in this case the dish includes hogget loin dusted with herb char and lamb neck ballotine, as well as the more traditional mezze elements of hummus and falafel, all presented in the chef's signature playful style.

First published in 2015
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Hogget loin

Mint oil

  • 1 bunch of mint, leaves picked
  • 210g of vegetable oil

Herb char

Lamb neck





  • Deep fat fryer
  • Muslin cloth
  • Liquidiser
  • Dehydrator
  • Thermomix
  • Cold-smoker


Prepare the lamb neck fillets the day before serving. Rub the spices into the necks and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight
To make the mint oil, pick the mint leaves and blanch in unsalted, simmering water for 2 minutes. Place in iced water to refresh. When the leaves are cold, squeeze the water out of the leaves and pat dry
  • 1 bunch of mint, leaves picked
Place the leaves in a liquidiser with the oil and blitz until smooth. Transfer the mint and oil to a muslin bag and leave to hang over a bowl to catch the green oil that drips through
  • 210g of vegetable oil
For the herb char, dry the herbs in a dehydrator between 35˚C and 45˚C for 3 hours. Meanwhile, create the hay ash. Take a handful of hay, place it in a bowl and set it on fire. When cindered, pass it through a fine sieve and set aside. Remove the herbs from the dehydrator, add the hay ash and then blitz all of the ingredients in a Thermomix. Set aside until needed
To make the hummus, cook the chickpeas in a pan of water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Once the chickpeas are cooked, and while still hot, put them in a Thermomix with a little warm water and blitz for 3 minutes
Remove the hogget from the vac bags. In a pan set over a high heat, render the fat from the loin and seal the remaining meat. Once sealed, roast in the oven for 10-14 minutes until pink in the middle. Remove from the oven, allow to rest for 5 minutes, then slice into appropriate portion sizes and set aside
To prepare the hogget loin, toast the spices in a dry pan and blitz them to a crumb. Rub the spices into the loin and cold smoke for 1 hour
Remove the loin from the smoker and rub off the spice. Place the loin in a sealable plastic bag with 100ml of the mint oil and leave to rest for 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
To make the lamb necks into ballotines, fry the marinated fillets until golden brown. Place the fillets into a braising pot with the remaining ingredients and braise in the oven for 2 - 3 hours until tender
Allow to cool in the liquor to just above room temperature. Once cool, carefully lift the neck from the liquor and drain, reserving the cooking liquid
When the lamb necks have cooled, place them on a cutting board. Cut an incision down the middle of the fillet lengthways, splaying the fillet in half. Roll into a log, wrapping with cling film, and set aside
Pour the reserved cooking liquor into a clean pan and reduce to a sauce consistency. Pass through a fine chinois and reserve
Add the remaining ingredients and blend, adding oil until you reach the correct consistency
To make the falafel, combine the ingredients in a Thermomix to form a thick paste. Check the seasoning, adjust if necessary and form into small balls
When ready to serve the dish, preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
Dust the hogget portions in the herb char and place on a grill tray. Cook under a hot grill until the char is slightly browned and the hogget is warmed through. Remove from the grill and set aside. Now, remove the lamb neck from the cling film fridge and cover in reduced cooking liquid. Reheat under the grill until the sauce is sticky and the lamb neck is hot
Finally, deep fry the falafel balls in a fryer at 175-180°C for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown on each side
To plate, dress the bottom of the plate with a drizzle of mint oil. Slice the lamb neck into rounds and place a piece in the middle of the plate with a dash of the sticky reduced sauce. Arrange the hogget on top of the lamb neck and place the falafel around the plate, sitting on top of individual dollops of hummus. Finish with thinly sliced beetroot, walnut halves and fresh mint leaves
First published in 2015
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Phil Fanning remains one of the brightest, most interesting chefs of the British food scene, creating beautiful, intricate plates of food at the magnificent Paris House in Woburn Abbey.

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