Herb-crusted Lamb Loin
Roasted "Silk" Potatoes
Local Radish/Haricot Vert Salad
The following instructions are for each 1/2 'Frenched' rack of lamb, approximately 7 to 8 chops, and about 1.5 - 2 lbs total, which will serve 2 people. Increase the number of lamb loins and coating as needed to serve your party.
Prep: Remove meat from the rack and remove any silver skin and excess fat. For each loin, rub with 1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard. Roll each loin in a mixture of: ¼ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, etc.), 3 chopped black olives, ½ teaspoon cracked-black pepper, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 Tablespoon of breadcrumbs. Tightly wrap seasoned loin in plastic wrap and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
Cooking: Remove loin from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Heat a heavy sauté pan to high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of butter. Quickly add in loin. Sauté each side of the loin for 1-2 minutes (here there are actually 4 sides - basically like a square), you want each side to brown. Once browned, take the pan off the heat and tightly cover with tinfoil (just place the piece of tinfoil over the meat directly). Let meat rest 10-15 minutes, which will result in a rare doneness. Increased doneness can be achieved by placing the lamb in a 350 degree oven for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Slice loin as desired and plate, make sure to taste for salt and pepper just prior to plating.
For the veal stock, use the following:
2 lbs veal bones, roasted in an 400F oven until brown
2 onions, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces
2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces
2 cups red wine
At least 3 quarts water
1 bay leaf
6 sprigs of thyme
3 peeled and seeded tomatoes
Stir the bones often while roasting so that they brown but do not burn. Sauté the onions, celery, and carrots (mirepoix) in a small amount of oil until lightly browned. Place bones in a stock pot and add the water. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Skim off the scum and reduce heat to a simmer. Add the sautéed onions, carrots and celery and the wine tomatoes. Add the thyme and peppercorns in the form of a bouquet garni or sachet.
Simmer for 6 hours, strain and chill overnight in the refrigerator or chill by setting the pot in a larger bowl of ice water. Skim fat. Reduce strained veal stock into a thick sauce, at the very last moment before service whisk in 1 Tablespoon butter.
Roasted "Silk" Potatoes:
1 lb medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes that have been stored at room temperature for at least three days.
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup cream cheese
½ cup Gruyere cheese
½ cup butter
3 grates of nutmeg
Salt and white pepper
Preheat oven to 425F
Line a ½ sized heavy aluminum, high-sided sheet pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper liberally (1/4 cup). Peel and slice the potatoes using a mandolin set on the next to the thinnest setting (i.e. very thin). Mix the cream, cheeses, nutmeg, and the salt and pepper in a bowl. Layer the potato slices on the buttered paper. Drizzle mixture on each layer. Repeat to make about 6 layers. Finish the top layer with remaining mixture and dollop with remaining butter. Tent with aluminum foil and bake until potatoes are very soft (about 1 hour), remove foil at the end of cooking to achieve a brown top. Let stand for 15-20 minutes. Slide or cut as desired.
Slide lamb loin on a bias and arrange all elements as desired to serve.
Local Radish/Haricot Vert Salad:
Haricot vert can often be found at local farmers markets or they can be grown within weeks in even the simplest of gardens. Make sure that these are no thicker than your finger and not longer than 3 inches or so.
½ lbs "French radishes", julienned to the size of the haricot vert
½ lbs haricot vert with stems removed.
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
Blanch the beans in well salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes and move quickly to an ice bath to stop the cooking and set the color. Mix all remaining ingredients and serve (can be warmed quickly prior to serving, or served cold).