And now for a completely different subject. Here’s another random recipe, this time from Martin Blunos. Sure beats the crap out of spam casserole. Having recently been learning about new ingredients, I’m told the secret’s in the wild garlic leaves…
Roast best end of lamb with garlic fritters and a wild garlic cream sauce
Preparation time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cooking time 1 to 2 hours
21 small cloves of garlic, skins on
a little water and a little milk to cover garlic in a pan
sprig of thyme
a pinch of sugar
250ml/8fl oz chicken stock
250ml/8fl oz lamb stock
50ml/2fl oz quality white wine
double cream, approximately 100ml/6½tbsp
salt and pepper
1 lemon, juice only (to taste)
4 portions of best ends of spring lamb, trimmed and prepared
a little oil and butter (preferably clarified) to seal the lamb
flour for dusting
300ml/½ pint beer batter (see below)
enough oil to deep-fry the garlic
a handful of fresh wild garlic leaves, central stems cut out (or enough wild garlic to taste as it is is a pungent herb)
180g/6oz plain flour
30g/1½oz fresh yeast
5-10ml/1-2tsp white wine vinegar
a pinch each of salt and sugar
1. Place 20 cloves of garlic in a pan and cover with half cold water and half full fat milk. Add a pinch of salt and sugar and the sprig of thyme.
2. Cut a round of greaseproof paper the size of the pan and butter one side. Place the round, butter side down in the pan to cover the garlic.
3. Place the pan on a high heat, bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer gently until the garlic is cooked through.
4. Remove the paper, strain off the liquid and allow the garlic to steam dry. When cool, peel off the outer skin of the garlic and cut out the germ of the garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
5. Make the batter by mixing all batter ingredients together. Allow to stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile to make the sauce: in another pan, add the white wine and the remaining garlic clove, crushed. Bring to the boil to remove the alcohol, then add the lamb stock and chicken stock. Bring back to the boil and let the liquid reduce by a third.
6. Add the double cream and bring back to a gentle simmer, reduce to a rich and creamy consistency. Adjust the seasoning and finish with a little lemon juice. Pass through a fine strainer or muslin into a clean pan and keep warm until required.
7. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
8. Heat a little oil and (clarified) butter in a pan. Season the lamb and then seal in pan on all sides.
9. Once sealed, place in a hot oven to roast for about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with foil and leave to rest in a hot place, like above the stove, for at least 20 minutes.
10. To make the garlic fritters: heat the oil for deep-frying in a pan. Dust the garlic cloves in a little flour and shake off the excess. Dip them into the beer batter and deep fry until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and drizzle with a little lemon juice and season with salt.
11. Cut the wild garlic leaves into squares and stir into the prepared sauce. Let the leaves wilt in the heat of the sauce.
12. Spoon the sauce onto plates spreading the garlic leaves evenly.
13. Cut the best ends into cutlets and lay cut side up on top of the sauce. Place five garlic fritters around the lamb and serve with seasonal vegetables of your choice.