Barbecued lamb rump with smoked crème fraiche, aubergine, dukkah and pomegranate

  • medium
  • 4
  • 3 hours 20 minutes

This classic combination of lamb, aubergine, crème fraiche and pomegranate is given a new lease of life by James Cochran, who employs some neat techniques to make a sophisticated dinner party main. James cooks the lamb sous vide, but you can just as easily do it in the oven.

First published in 2019




Lamb brine


Smoked creme fraiche

  • 200g of créme fraiche
  • 2 handfuls of hay



  • Sous vide or water bath
  • Vacuum bag and machine


Combine the ingredients for the lamb brine, then leave the lamb rumps in the brine for 2 hours
Meanwhile, prepare the aubergine. Preheat an oven to 200°C/gas mark 6 and cut the aubergine into blocks measuring 10cm long, 3cm high and 3cm wide – you should be able to get four blocks out of each aubergine (save the trimmings for later). Vacuum pack the shaped aubergines and steam for 6 minutes at 100ºC, then cool in an ice bath and chill in the fridge until required
Roast the aubergine trim in the oven with a splash of vegetable oil, salt, the rosemary and the garlic cloves for 20 minutes. When the aubergine is cooked through and soft, remove the rosemary and garlic and blitz the aubergine with 100ml of vegetable oil in a blender until smooth. Check for seasoning, pass through a fine sieve and reserve in a squeezy bottle or a piping bag
Place the hay into the bottom of a lidded saucepan and put the crème fraiche on top in a heatproof bowl or dish. Place the saucepan over a low-medium heat and wait until the hay starts to smoke. Cover and leave for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and allow the crème fraiche to smoke gently. When the pan is cold to the touch, remove the crème fraiche and pour into a squeezy bottle or piping bag and store in the fridge until ready to plate
  • 200g of créme fraiche
  • 2 handfuls of hay
Toast all the dukkah ingredients in a hot dry pan until fragrant, then mix together in a bowl and reserve for plating
Once the lamb rumps have been brining for 2 hours, pat them dry and vacuum pack them in a bag. Preheat a water bath to 56°C and cook the rumps for 42 minutes
Remove the rumps from the bag. Pat dry again and finish the lamb all over on a hot barbecue or in a hot pan, getting a nice caramelisation all over the rump. Allow the meat to rest for 10-15 minutes afterwards
While the lamb rests, remove the blocks of aubergine from their bag, pat them dry and finish on the barbecue or in a hot pan, colouring them all over
To serve, place two pieces of the aubergine on each plate and pipe dots of smoked creme fraiche and aubergine puree along the top. Scatter over the dukkah and a few pomegranate seeds. Carve 2 thick slices of lamb and lay them alongside, finishing with any resting juices, a pinch of salt and a couple of nasturtium leaves
First published in 2019

After spending nine years with the likes of Brett Graham at The Ledbury and The Harwood Arms, James Cochran has become one of the UK's most exciting chefs, wowing the capital with his imaginative cooking at 1251.

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