Ryeland lamb with young leeks, elephant garlic, St George mushrooms and orache

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It might need to be started four days in advance, but this incredible lamb recipe from Chris Harrod is well worth the effort. Shoulder, belly, loin and liver are cooked to perfection (either using sous vide or in the oven – Chris supplies instructions for both), before being served with a garlic purée, salt-baked turnips, leeks, St George mushrooms and orache, a foraged plant which has a flavour between spinach and broccoli. The entire dish is brought together with an intensely flavoured lamb sauce.

First published in 2019




Lamb loin

Lamb shoulder

Lamb belly

Elephant garlic purée


Lamb's liver

Young leeks

  • 12 leeks, young with roots intact, outer layer removed and washed

St George mushrooms

Lamb sauce



  • Sous vide equipment (optional)
  • Hand blender
  • Muslin cloth
  • Blender


4 days before you plan to serve the dish, prepare the lamb shoulder. Blitz the salt, garlic, herbs and peppercorns in a blender to a paste. Place the lamb on a tray and rub the salt mix all over. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 12 hours
The next day, wash the lamb thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry with a cloth. Place into a large vacuum bag with 100ml of rapeseed oil. Seal and place in a water bath set at 60°C and cook for 2 days. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark ½. Heat 30ml of rapeseed oil in a large deep roasting pan over a medium heat and sear the shoulder for 10 minutes until golden. Remove from the heat and strain off any excess fat. Fill the roasting pan with 400ml water, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 4½ hours, basting occasionally
  • 100ml of extra virgin rapeseed oil, or 30ml if you're not using sous vide
Once the lamb is cooked, leave until cool enough to handle. Remove the bones and transfer the shoulder meat into another vacuum bag (or wrap tightly in cling film). Seal and press between two trays with a weight on top. Refrigerate overnight, then slice the shoulder 3cm thick and into 5cm rectangles. Reserve until required
The lamb belly should be prepared at the same time as the shoulder. Put the herbs, spices, garlic, salt and sugar into a blender and blitz to a paste. Put the lamb belly into a deep tray and massage the paste into the lamb. Leave to marinate in the fridge for 3 hours
Wash the belly thoroughly then soak in cold water for 10 minutes. Place in a large vacuum bag with 100ml rapeseed oil, seal and cook in a 60°C water bath for 2 days. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark ½. Put the belly in a deep casserole dish and cover with cold water. Heat gently until simmering and skim away any surface fat or scum. Cover with a piece of greaseproof paper and braise in the oven for 4 hours. Check every 30 minutes to turn the lamb and make sure the water is not boiling. When cooked, it should be meltingly tender
  • 100ml of rapeseed oil, if using sous vide to cook the belly
When the lamb belly is cool enough to handle, wrap loosely in cling film and place on a flat tray. Cover with another flat tray with a weight on top and refrigerate overnight, then portion into 1cm-thick strips. Set aside
Now that the lamb shoulder and belly are cooked and portioned, you can get on with the rest of the dish
For the turnips, preheat an oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Put the flour and salt in a bowl and gradually add the water until you have a smooth dough. Roll out the dough until 1cm thick, then peel the turnips and completely encase them in the dough. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and cook in the oven for 40 minutes
Remove the turnips from the oven and allow to cool. Crack open the dough, remove the turnips and thinly slice, before cutting into 3cm rounds. Set aside in a shallow tray with a little water to reheat later
Prepare the lamb sauce by searing the chopped bones over a high heat in a large pan until just beginning to colour. Add the butter and continue to cook for 10 minutes until nicely caramelised and the smell is like a leg of lamb at Sunday lunch. Drain the butter into another pan for later, then add the carrots and celery to the pan with the bones, cooking until golden, before adding the onion and leek. Continue to cook slowly until caramelised
In a separate pan, slowly caramelise the diced lamb shoulder in the drained butter until dark brown. Drain and set aside
Bring the chicken stock to the boil and reduce to a sauce consistency before adding to the bones with the white wine and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, skim and simmer for 20 minutes, then strain into a clean pan. Reduce to a sauce consistency
  • 1kg brown chicken stock
  • 125g of tomatoes, overripe, chopped
  • 200ml of white wine, reduced to 125ml
Refresh the sauce with the caramelised lamb shoulder, herbs and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, then pass through a fine sieve and taste for seasoning – you may need to add a little more white wine or tomato if it tastes a little flat. Pass through a double sheet of wet muslin cloth and set aside
For the elephant garlic purée, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and lightly season, then sweat gently for 10 minutes until soft without colour. Add the milk and cream, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until smooth. Season with salt and a little lemon juice, then set aside to reheat later
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the lamb belly strips skin-side down and fry for 4 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the pan and reserve on a tray – keep the lamb fat for cooking the leeks
Heat a little of the lamb fat in a frying pan and cook the leeks until golden and the roots go crispy. Transfer to the tray with the lamb belly and keep warm
  • 12 leeks, young with roots intact, outer layer removed and washed
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Place the rectangles of lamb shoulder in a shallow dish with a little water and cover with greaseproof paper. Place in the oven to gently warm through, along with the turnips. In two small saucepans gently reheat the garlic purée and lamb sauce
Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms. Heat a frying pan with the rapeseed oil until hot, then add the mushrooms cut-side down, lightly season and turn the heat down to medium. After 2 minutes add the butter and continue to cook until tender, spooning over the foaming butter. Strain off the butter, add a little lemon juice and keep warm
For the orache, bring the butter, water and salt to the boil in a pan. Cook the orache for 2 minutes until tender, then strain and keep warm
10 minutes before you're ready to serve, heat a frying pan large enough to cook the lamb loins. Add the rapeseed oil and sear the loins for 2 minutes until evenly coloured, then season. Add the butter and cook until the lamb is golden all over. Place in the oven for 4–6 minutes, then allow to rest
Cook the lamb’s liver in a frying pan with the butter over a medium heat for 30 seconds each side. Season, remove from the pan and slice into 8 pieces
To serve, arrange the lamb loin, belly, shoulder and liver on the plate. Spoon a little garlic purée in between them, followed by the mushrooms. Drape the leeks and turnip slices over the top and scatter a few orache leaves across the plate along with some wild garlic flowers. Serve the hot lamb sauce in a jug on the side

A protégé of Raymond Blanc, Chris Harrod has built his own niche in the heart of glorious Monmouthshire, creating beautiful, organic dishes that make the most of the countryside around him.

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