Best end of new season lamb with a pine nut and wild garlic crust and tarragon gnocchi

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This colourful and light spring lamb and gnocchi recipe is given a strongly seasonal taste by the addition of the wild garlic and pine nut crust.





Tomato confit

Tarragon gnocchi

Light lamb jus

Bouquet garni

Pine nut and wild garlic crust



  • Food processor or blender
  • Potato ricer
  • Drum sieve
  • Cheesecloth


To make the tomato confit, blanch the tomatoes in salted boiling water. Drain and put in cold water to cool. Peel, deseed and set aside
Finely slice the garlic and pick the leaves from the thyme. Arrange the garlic and thyme leaves evenly over the tomatoes, pour over the olive oil and season. Leave them in a warm place for an hour
To make the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Place the potatoes on a lightly salted baking tray and bake until cooked through
Once the potatoes are cooked, scoop the flesh out, rice it, and set aside to cool
Once the riced potato has cooled, put the flour and egg in a mixing bowl, add the potato and mix into a dough. Add the tarragon and season to taste
Roll the gnocchi dough into a long sausage on a lightly floured surface before cutting into individual gnocchi and blanching in boiling water for 2 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve
To make the jus, brown the scrag end of lamb in a large pan of hot groundnut oil. Once browned, tip away the fat, add the diced onion and carrot and sweat them down for 5 minutes
Peel and deseed the beef tomato. Add it and the tomato paste to the pan with the lamb in it and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the redcurrant jelly and the red wine and reduce by half
Make the bouquet garni by putting the leek, celery, thyme and bay leaf in a little bundle of cheesecloth and tying with string
Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, crushed garlic and water to the pan with the lamb. Simmer down to a sauce consistency, skimming as often as possible. Pass through a fine cheesecloth and set aside
To make the wild garlic crust, preheat the oven to 120°C/Gas mark 1. Place the bread on a tray and bake until dried out, then blitz into fine crumbs in the food processor
  • 300g of white bread, crustless
Wash the wild garlic and add to the breadcrumbs, then blitz until the mixture is green. Pass through a drum sieve and add seasoning if needed
Finely chop the toasted pine nuts, add to the breadcrumb mix and set aside
To cook the lamb, increase the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Place the lamb skin-side down in a roasting pan with the olive oil and butter and season with salt
Seal the lamb on the hob for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until nicely browned on the outside. Transfer to the oven for 12-15 minutes, before resting for 10 minutes
Spread the lamb with Dijon mustard and then coat with the pine nut and wild garlic crust. Cut just before you're ready to serve
Fry the gnocchi briefly in foaming butter
Wash the spinach leaves and spear the garlic clove on the end of a fork. Put the butter in a large pan and heat until lightly foaming. Add the spinach and stir with the garlic-ended fork. Lightly season, drain well and serve immediately
To assemble, lay some spinach in the centre of each plate, place the gnocchi and tomato confit alternately around the plate and arrange the lamb on top of the spinach. Drizzle the lamb jus across the plate

Simon Hulstone's aesthetically pleasing and rewarding cuisine can be found in Torquay at The Elephant, which holds a Michelin star.

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