Food Porn Star

May 18, 2015

Pistachio Crusted Leg of Lamb with Sweet Potato Puree and Mustard Greens

plate 2

This dish takes quite a bit of prep time, and is best undertaken on a weekend for a dinner party. Sourcing your ingredients, especially the lamb is also going to be critical, as the fresher the lamb, the better the dish will be. I would advise against using frozen leg of lamb, because its going to take hours of thaw time on top of the rest of the prep.

Start by peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes into about half inch cubes. This will get a faster cooking time out of them. Boil them in a generous sized pot with lots of water until soft. Strain off the water and throw the cubes into a food processor while they’re still hot. Puree on high adding a little bit of cream at a time until you get this wonderful orange paste. Put the puree back in the pot and on the stove on low heat. Add a cup of chicken stock, half a stick of butter, and finish off with some cream until you get a a consistency about halfway in between the paste and a bisque. Shake in some white pepper and put it in the fridge.

Clean out your food processor (or use another if you have it) and dice up about two handfuls of pistachios. Put them in a bowl and add some bread crumbs (I use panko). Set aside. Dice up some of the following herbs: rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme and set aside. If you’re pro, you’ll start pre-heating your oven to 400 at this time also.

Start on the lamb by taking out the leg bone. You want to try to carve it out without cutting through the meat because we want to use the hole later. This involves cutting the connective tissue around the bone and attempting to pull it out. Once the bone is out, lightly score the fatty side, then season on all sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the diced herbs on the fat side, and rub it into the meat with some olive oil. Take a few whole stems of those herbs and stuff them into the hole where the bone used to be.

Heat up a pan with some olive oil (cast iron works best), and brown the lamb on all sides. Take the meat out of the pan, and place in a square casserole dish, fat side up, with some olive oil in the bottom. Deglaze your pan with some red wine, and dump it into the bottom of the casserole dish. Now take some mustard and rub it over the fat to create a coating for the pistachio and bread crumb to stick to. Now take your pistachio and bread crumb mix and heap it generously on to the mustard.

The cook time for the lamb is going to vary depending on the size, so check its temp at half hour intervals. You’re looking for 130 deg internal temp.

While its cooking, wash and roughly cut up your mustard greens and set aside. When your lamb reaches 120 degrees take the puree out of the fridge and gently heat on low to warm it up. It should be warm by the time your lamb is done. Once the lamb has reached 130 degrees internal temperature take it out and let rest for a good 10 minutes. There will be a lot of juice, and if you cut it too early it’s going to run everywhere. Once rested, take a ladle of the puree and put it in the center of a plate. One of those half plate half bowl things you find at restaurants works best, but most of us don’t have those lying around. On top of the puree, place a few of the mustard greens, and then on those place a good slice of the lamb. Take a spoonful of the juice out of the bottom of the casserole dish and drizzle it on the slice of meat. I also plated with some lady fingers of some olive bread, but that’s totally up to you.

Posted in: Main Courses