Roast lamb with caramelised pumpkin and mustard cream

Roast lamb with caramelised pumpkin and mustard cream

By
From
Dig In!
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

Roast lamb is probably the most memorable Australian family dish, so why not use native Australian ingredients with it? Pepperberries are one of my favourite ingredients now. They look like large black peppercorns but when you crush them they are bright pink inside. They have a great flavour hit that’s a little like szechuan pepper. Saltbush has a salty, slightly bitter flavour and pigface is a succulent. The oxtail is included to amplify the roast meat flavour. The pan juices are brushed onto the pumpkin and I use a blowtorch to inject the flavour straight into the vegetable.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 x 300g lamb backstraps
2 carrots, peeled and cut into finger-sized batons
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 butternut pumpkin, thinly sliced lengthways to give large sheets, seeds reserved
60ml red wine vinegar
55g sugar
1 eschalot, thinly sliced
handful saltbush or baby english spinach leaves
2 teaspoons dried native thyme
100g pancetta, chopped
200g oxtail or fatty beef bones, chopped into pieces, (you can ask your butcher to do this)
2 tablepoons pouring cream
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
50g butter
30g pigface shoots
2 teaspoons pepperberries, lightly crushed

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (or 180°C for a fan-forced oven).
  2. Roll each backstrap tightly in plastic wrap and secure to form a sausage shape. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. Place the carrots on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until golden and tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. Place the pumpkin seeds on a small baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until dried out.
  5. Place the red wine vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the eschalot and remove the pan from the heat. Allow to pickle for 25–30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  6. Spread the saltbush on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 4–5 minutes or until dried out.
  7. Combine 2 dried saltbush leaves with the native thyme, half the roasted pumpkin seeds and salt to taste using a mortar and pestle
  8. Place the pancetta and oxtail or beef bones in a cold frying pan and bring up to medium heat. Spoon off the rendered fat every 5–10 minutes and reserve. Continue frying until the pancetta is crispy and brown, about 3–5 minutes. Discard the oxtail or bones. Drain the pancetta and set aside.
  9. Whisk the cream and mustard until soft peaks form. Season and transfer to a small piping bag and set aside in the refrigerator.
  10. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush generously with the reserved pan juices. Using a blowtorch, caramelise the pumpkin on each side for 2–3 minutes. Alternatively, you can brown it under a hot grill. Set aside.
  11. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Drizzle the lamb with the remaining oil and season. Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side until medium–rare. Add the butter and baste for 2–3 minutes until cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  12. To serve, place some pumpkin on each plate. Slice the lamb and stand it in one corner. Pipe the mustard cream around the lamb. Add the roasted carrot, pigface shoots, pickled eschalot and remaining dried saltbush leaves. Top with the crispy pancetta, crushed pepperberries, remaining pumpkin seeds and the saltbush dust. Season to taste and serve.
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