Spit-Cooked Suckling Lamb with Chunky Vegetables and Dried Fruit Crumble

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Lamb

Wash and dry the orange. Remove a small ribbon of peel 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) long. Squeeze the orange juice into a sauté pan, straining it through a cheesecloth-lined chinois. Add the orange peel and 4 fluid ounces (12 cl) of skimmed lamb jus. Cook until mixture reduces and becomes syrupy. Remove and cool.

Remove the lamb loins from the saddle, and remove all of the nervous membranes. Slice into 4 even pieces, 6 1/3 ounces (180 g) each. Coat with the orange syrup, and set aside in a cool place.

Step 2: Vegetables

Place the unpeeled garlic in a small sauté pan, cover with olive oil, and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes on the edge of the range.

Remove the root and hard base of the fennel. If necessary, peel the outer layer. Quarter the fennel lengthwise in order to get even slices.

Heat a drop of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the fennel, and season with salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, without letting the fennel brown. Add 6 3/4 fl ounces (20 cl) of light chicken stock, and braise for 15 minutes on the edge of the range, allowing it to simmer slightly. Check periodically, and add light stock when necessary. Check the fennel with the tip of a knife to check its doneness, remove, and place in a flat container when it becomes soft.

When the pieces of fennel are cooked and the juice reduces, add a dab of butter, and toss them in the juice to glaze them. Set aside.

Remove the hard, dry leaves of the artichokes, then peel and remove the hard tips. Halve the artichokes, remove the choke, and place the artichoke halves in a container of cold water seasoned with lemon juice. Cook the same way as the pieces of fennel.

Remove dirty tips of the mushrooms, and wash carefully in several different containers of cold water without letting them soak, in order to remove all the dirt. Drain on a perforated sheet pan.

Heat a drop of olive oil in a pan, and add the mushrooms. Season with salt, and sauté for 10 minutes over a high heat, then drain.

Plunge the chestnuts into the pan of boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove and peel immediately, one at a time, making sure to remove both layers of skin.

Heat a knob of butter in the cast-iron pressure cooker. Add the chestnuts, and sweat them slightly.

Cover with the veal jus, and add the sprig of dried fennel. Close the pressure cooker and cook on the edge of the range over a low heat for 40 minutes.

Remove the seeds from the grapes, and wash them. Peel them, and remove the seeds using the tip of a sharp knife.

Remove the leaves of the red oak lettuce, wash, and choose the 12 nicest leaves surrounding the heart. Slice carefully and evenly.

Step 3: Dried Fruit Crumble

Rinse the anchovies and let soak in cold water for 2 hours. Drain them, pat dry with a paper towel, and crush using a fork. Set aside in a bowl.

Soak the white raisins in a bowl of lukewarm water for 40 minutes, then drain.

Open the fresh almonds, peel, and halve.

Slice the dried apricots into strips.

Grind the rosemary needles finely, and set aside in a small bowl.

Peel the garlic, quarter, and remove the sprout. Melt 3/4 ounce (20 g) of butter in a sauté pan, and add the garlic cloves. Cook until they become golden. Sprinkle with sugar, let caramelize for 2 minutes, and remove.

Trim the slices of bread and cut into 1/8 inch (3 mm) cubes. Cook until golden brown in the clarified butter, and dry on a paper towel to absorb any excess fat.

Melt 1/3 ounce (10 g) of butter in a sauté pan and brown the rehydrated raisins with the fresh almonds. Add the apricot strips, the croutons, a dash of vinegar, and 1 tablespoons of lamb jus. Caramelize this mixture.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top, and stir to bind. Add the crushed anchovy and the chopped rosemary.

Step 4: Finishing and Plating

Cook the marinated lamb for 15 minutes on a spit or 12 minutes in a sauté pan, then leave on a warm grill for 10 minutes

Meanwhile, combine the vegetablesin a sauté pan, and add 3 1/2 fl ounces (10 cl) of lamb jus. Cover and cook over a low heat.

Place a slice of meat in the center of each of the hot serving plates. Serve the vegetables around the meat, and cover the lamb with the dried fruit crumble.

Serve the remainder of the crumble separately, and the remainder of the jus in a sauceboat. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits