1. Let’s start with some butchery 101, if your not confident then you can always ask your butcher to do this for you. If they don’t then definitely change your butcher! Start by carefully placing the loin skin side down then remove the tenderloin. This is the darker strip that you can see in the centre of the image above. Next step is to remove the bone by making a small incision going along the bone that you can find on the bottom of the skin side. Use a boning knife to carefully cut against the bone using the bone as a guide to remove taking care not to cut into the loin.
2. Now all that should be left is the loin with the skin on. Carefully remove the skin first and try and keep whole if possible as we will crisp this up later. When removed try to cut off any sinue left on the loin. Now we should be left with 4 sections, the loin, tenderloin, bones and skin. Again its slightly complex to write up butchery so I recommend either getting a butcher to break down the lamb for you or watch a couple of lamb butchery videos first…When the lamb is prepped place all onto a tray to one side for now. This recipe does not include the tenderloin however if you want to use it then cook in the same way as we will for the loin or save it for some fried rice…
3. Moving on, we now want to make the tare/glaze/sauce for the dish. Start by roughly chopping the bones from the loin then add to a hot pan with a tiny drizzle of oil and sear. When the bones become well charred add 5g sliced ginger and two roughly chopped spring onions and continue to fry until fragrant.
4. In the same pan we now want to add 100ml sake, 100ml mirin, 50ml light soy, 10ml yuzu or 1/2 lemon juice and 20g of white sugar. Bring the tare up to the boil to enable the sugar to dissolve then when boiling turn down to a low heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. When ready discard the bones, spring onion and ginger and place the tare into a bowl and allow to cool. The tare is now ready and the longer stored the more mature and better it becomes. This tare using the lamb bones was packed with umami and I was blown away how much depth it had!
5. For the loin I find the best way to cook such a delicate piece of lamb is to cook it su vide. No worries as this is very simple to do at home by using a zip lock bag and a pan of water. This cooking method provides consistency and we are able to prevent the loin from overcooking. Place the loin into a suvide bag or ziplock bag then add a drizzle of olive oil and a few slices of ginger. Seal the bag trying to remove as much air as possible. Place a large pan of water onto a low heat and bring the water temperature up to 58°c – 60°c. Now add the vacuum packed loin and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes ensuring the temperature does not go above 60°c.
6. For the lamb skin we want to firstly make it as thin as we can by removing as much excess fat as possible. When ready cut into largish rectangle strips and place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place another heavy tray over the top to flatten, then bake in a hot oven set at 180°c and bake until crispy (20 mins approx). When baked lightly dust with a touch of icing sugar and blowtorch or grill until caramalised. This part of the dish is optional and is there to add a little more texture and richness.
7. At the same time whilst we are waiting on the lamb to cook place two whole aubergines into a dry pan and char. It may take up to 30-45 minutes depending on size to cook. Turn the aubergines occasionally to ensure they cook evenly then when the centre becomes soft place to one side and allow to cool. When ready cut the aubergines in half and remove the flesh from the skin then mince with a knife.
8. Now to bring the aubergine together, finely chop 1 shallot and mince 2 garlic cloves. Add a drizzle of oil to a pan and place onto a medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and garlic and fry until fragrant. Next add the minced aubergine flesh along with 1 tsp miso, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tsp sugar, a pinch of salt, and approximately 50ml of almond milk just to loosen up the aubergine. Cook out the mix for 5 minutes to infuse all the ingredients together then when ready adjust the seasoning by adding more salt if needed.
9. To finish the aubergine and miso add the mix to a food procceser and pulse to a fine puree. Pass the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl then when finished place the aubergine cream to one side.
The Veg and Mushrooms:
10. For the vegetables we simply want to prep then pan fry in a touch of olive oil and butter to hold onto the freshness. Prepare 6 asparagus by washing then peeling the lower half. For the king oyster mushrooms cut into large slices then slightly cross score to add even more crispness. Cut 25g of brown shimeji mushrooms into bite sized pieces then peel and cut 1/4 daikon radish into a thin julienne.
12. The lamb at this point is already cooked and all is needed is for it to be seared and glazed. Remove from the vacuum pack or ziplock then season with lightly with salt. Place a pan onto a high heat and when smoking hot add a touch of oil, then add the loin. Sear for 30 seconds on each side then remove and place the lamb straight into the tare we made earlier to glaze. Ensure the loin is submerged in the glaze and leave for 1-2 minutes.
13. Now the lamb is glazed add back to the hot pan and sear again for 30 seconds either side. Add the glaze to the pan and reduce until slightly thicker and the lamb is well coated. When ready remove the lamb to prevent from overcooking and place to one side along with the reduced tare. Finely chop a bunch of chives then add generously over the lamb to add freshness. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
14. Now to finally serve, begin by warming through the aubergine cream slightly in a microwave if needed then carve the lamb however you wish. As for plating I will leave this one up to you…Add lots of veg if you want to make the dish more substantial or get creative. Add a little aubergine cream, the carved lamb, sliced fresh daikon, the lamb skin crisp then some lambs lettuce. Finish with a drizzle of the reduced tare and nourish! I hope you like this recipe and hope it gives you plenty of ideas and techniques to play around with! Have fun!
If you cant get hold of 1/2 of a lamb loin or its slightly to expensive then you could also use lamb cutlets. Cook the cutlits in the same way as the loin by using the su vide method to take them to that next level. As for veggies you can add various green vegetables such as pak choi, cabbage, leek, or choi sum…This recipe was really a play on techniques and contains many of them. Have fun and take from this recipe as you please! Have fun…