Sweet-pickled lamb breast with pumpkin, fennel and cabbage

Sweet-pickled lamb breast with pumpkin, fennel and cabbage

By
From
Meat
Serves
6
Photographer
Dean Cambray

This is one of the most popular dishes at La Luna Bistro and it’s really easy to make. We use lamb (or sometimes mutton) that has been pickled in a sweet brine for several days, which gives it a wonderful sweet-savoury flavour and a lovely rosy pink colour. The pickled lamb is simmered gently with pumpkin, fennel and cabbage – which all seem to bring out the underlying sweetness of the meat – and the broth cooks down to a gorgeous thick sauce.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2kg leg of lamb, bone removed, trimmed and butterflied
1 litre Sweet spiced brine
1/2 white cabbage, chopped into 6 cm squares
4 onions, quartered
1 carrot, cut into 6 cm lengths
1 stick celery, cut into 6 cm lengths
10 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 cups white wine
2 litres good-quality chicken stock or water
500g pumpkin, peeled and cut into big chunks
salt
freshly ground black pepper
100g butter
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Place the lamb in the brine, making sure it is completely submerged. You might want to place a weighted plate on top to keep it immersed. Refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours and for up to 48 hours. Discard the brine after using.
  2. Remove the lamb from the brine and cut it into 6 cm cubes. Put into a large casserole dish or heavy-based saucepan with the vegetables, garlic and fennel seeds. Pour in the wine and enough of the stock or water to cover generously.
  3. Bring to the boil, skimming away any scum or impurities. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, skimming every now and then. Add the pumpkin to the casserole and cook for 1 further hour. You may need to add a little more liquid if it begins to dry out. By the end of the cooking time the meat will be wonderfully tender and the pumpkin will have disintegrated to form a lovely sweet, rich sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
  4. Stir in the butter and parsley and serve with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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