Lamb, smoked aubergine, yoghurt and onions

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This deft lamb dish from Lee Westcott contains nods to Greek cuisine - in the form of smoked aubergine and yoghurt - as well as an ode to aliums, with several onion elements and a wild garlic oil.

First published in 2015




Lamb loin

Confit garlic

Smoked aubergine purée

Wild garlic oil

Onion powder

Caramelised Roscoff onions

Hung yoghurt

Baby onion hearts and petals

Onion marmalade


  • Sugar thermometer
  • Muslin cloth
  • Blender
  • Dehydrator
  • Sous vide equipment
  • Thermomix


Preheat the water bath to 82°C/180°F
Trim the lamb belly and remove any excess fat and small bones. Season with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Seal in a vacuum bag and cook the lamb belly overnight. In the morning, remove from the bag and while hot, place between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Place a flat tray on top and evenly distribute weights on top of the tray to press the belly. Once cool, slice into even portions
To prepare the lamb loin, remove the 2 loins from the bone. Reserve the bones for sauce, or discard if not using. Remove the first layer of skin (set aside for step 21) from the lamb loin, then vacuum seal and cook at 56°C/133°F for 30 minutes. Remove and place the bag in ice water
For the confit garlic, place the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the butter, then the garlic and salt. Colour the garlic for approximately 10 minutes until golden, then add the honey and thyme. Cook slowly for 8-10 minutes until tender
For the smoked aubergine purée, place the aubergines (without oil) into a Green Egg or Josper - if you don’t have one of these, a household barbecue will work just as well. Cook all over for 15-20 minutes, or black all over
Remove the stalks and dice the flesh and skin into 2cm pieces. Place into a pan with the reserved confit garlic, reduced lamb jus and lemon thyme leaves, reduce until thick
Transfer to a blender and blitz until very smooth, then pass through a sieve. Season with yoghurt to freshen the purée up slightly
For the wild garlic oil, pick and then blanch the wild garlic leaves for 3 minutes in salted boiling water. Refresh in ice water, then thoroughly squeeze out all of the excess water and dry with paper towel
Dehydrate the wild garlic in an oven set to 50°C/122°F for 6 hours, or overnight in a dehydrator - the key to dehydrating wild garlic is to not remove it from the oven until it is completely dry
Once dry, place the leaves in a Thermomix blender and add the grapeseed oil. Bring the mix to 85°C/185°F, then pass through muslin cloth to extract the oil. Chill in a bowl set over ice
  • 200ml of grapeseed oil
Preheat the oven to 170°C/338°F/gas mark 3.5
For the onion powder, roast the onions with the skin on until very soft. Remove the flesh, finely slice and dry in the dehydrator until crispy and golden brown. Allow to chill, then blitz into a powder
Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/gas mark 3
For the caramelised Roscoff onions, place the onions in a bowl and season with olive oil, salt, pepper and Demerara sugar. Place onto the wire rack of a baking tray and roast in the oven until cooked through
Remove from the oven, allow to cool and cut into quarters through the centre of each stalk, keeping the skin on. Add a knob of butter and a dash of oil to a pan and place over a medium heat. Once the butter starts to foam, caramelise the onions in the pan, then remove and discard the skin
To prepare the hung yoghurt, place the yoghurt in a muslin cloth bag and suspend over a bowl to remove the excess liquid. Once sufficiently drained, season with Maldon salt and pepper
For the baby onion hearts and petals, cut the baby onion shells in half and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Burn the onions in a hot, dry frying pan, then break into individual petals, reserving the hearts
For the onion marmalade, place all of the ingredients in a pan and cook down until sticky. Allow to cool, then season to taste and chill
Preheat the oven to 180°C/355˚F/gas mark 4
Place a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat, render down the fat on the lamb loins until golden brown and crispy, then turn to caramelise the rest of the flesh
Lay the reserved skin in a roasting tin and place the loins on top. Roast in the oven for 5-7 minutes (how long you cook the loins for should depend on their size) so that they are still pink in the middle. Remove from the oven (leaving the oven on) and rest at room temperature until ready to plate
Meanwhile, warm the smoked aubergine purée, onion marmalade and lamb jus in separate pans. Heat the Roscoff onion quarters and baby onions in the oven and cut the lamb loins in half, giving you 4 equal pieces
Colour the lamb belly portions in a hot pan with a little oil until golden brown all over
  • oil
Spoon the aubergine purée onto each plate and swipe. Place a small spoonful of the hung yoghurt in the middle of each swipe, then top with lamb loin and arrange the Roscoff and baby onions around the loin
Add a small spoonful of onion marmalade and plate the lamb belly pieces. Drizzle some of the lamb jus around each plate, followed by some wild garlic oil and a good pinch of the onion powder. Garnish with some foraged, seasonal herbs (optional) before serving
First published in 2015

After formative years with Tom Aikens at his eponymous two Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea, Lee Westcott rose to fame at The Typing Room before launching Pensons – a beautiful restaurant with rooms on the Netherwood Estate in Worcestershire.

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