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Jonny’s spring lamb recipes from 2014 Flavours food festival

Warm salad of crispy Suffolk lamb, Deben samphire, broad beans, capers and lemon-dressed rocket
(serves 4 as a starter)
This is a great dish for lovely leftover roast lamb (shoulder is best) and looks stylish too on the plate, perfect for a midweek supper with friends. Prepare your broad beans by blanching in boiling water, cool under the cold tap, drain and peel the skins off. Similarly blanch the samphire for two minutes, cool and drain. Herb-wise, a good mix works well, likes of mint, flat-leaf parsley, thyme tops, tarragon, chives etc.

INGREDIENTS
300g leftover roast lamb, cut into cm thick slices and roughly shredded
Local rapeseed oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Sea salt and black peppermill
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, kept separate
Handful of soft mixed herbs, shredded
4 handfuls of rocket leaves
Juice of another lemon
Half tsp of Dijon-style mustard
Tsp of clear honey
2 tbsp baby capers
2 handfuls broad beans, fresh or defrosted
2 handfuls of local samphire (ask your fishmonger)

Place your shredded lamb in a cold frying pan. Gently heat up on a low-medium heat until juices start to run a little. Turn up to medium-hot and fry until starting to go crispy and golden, moving it around every 20 seconds or so. If pan gets dry and it sticks, add a little drizzle of oil. Toss in the garlic, lemon zest and season lightly. Cook whilst moving around in the pan for another minute or two. Finish by mixing through the lemon juice and herbs, taste and adjust seasoning. Tip into a warm bowl and keep warm. Wipe out the frying pan with kitchen paper carefully.

Add the second batch of lemon juice, mustard and honey to the pan over a low heat and stir until all melted together. Season lightly on salt, heavier on pepper. Whisk in rapeseed oil, about three parts to one of lemon juice. Taste and adjust.

To serve, dress the rocket and samphire, make a bed of it on four plates, scatter over the capers and broad beans, finally finishing with the warm lamb.

Pink-seared lamb cutlets, fondant potato, tarragon béarnaise, watercress and braised lentils
You can prepare the lentils ahead but do not add the parsley until you have reheated them before serving.

LENTILS
100g Suffolk pancetta or smoked streaky
Good knob of butter
2 – 3 tbsp local rapeseed oil
Half an onion, peeled and finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
Half a carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
3 inches leek, finely chopped
Sea salt and black peppermills
2 fresh bay leaves
300g puy lentils
75ml white vermouth
500ml rich chicken stock
Splash of red wine vinegar
Handful flat leaf parsley leaves, shredded

Take the skin off the pancetta but not the fat. Cut into very thin lardons or fine dice. In a deep sauté pan, fry it over a medium heat in the butter and oil. Remove with a slotted spoon. Add in the next five vegetable ingredients and lightly season. Continue frying, covered, stirring every minute or so. Once starting to colour, return the pancetta and add in the bay leaves, lentils, vermouth and stock, bring to a simmer and cook covered for about 30 minutes. Once tender, adjust seasoning, remove from heat, strain off any spare liquid, stir the vinegar and parsley into the lentils and keep warm.

FONDANT POTATOES
2 large baking potatoes
2 tbsp local rapeseed oil
Good rich chicken stock
4 small knobs of butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Few sprigs fresh thyme

Pre-heat the oven to 200c. Peel the potatoes, and laying on their side, cut in half widthways. Take a 3cm cutter and cut a round out of each half.

In a small frying pan, heat up the oil on a medium heat. Brown the end of each potato until golden. Pour the stock around the pan and add in the thyme and garlic. Place a knob of butter on each potato and gently transfer to the oven. Bake until tender when skewered. Keep warm

TARRAGON BEARNAISE
2 tbsp Aspall cyder vinegar
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
4 peppercorns
4 tarragon sprigs
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 egg yolks
225g unsalted butter, gently melted, unstirred
Lemon, halved
Leaves off 2 tarragon sprigs, finely chopped

Heat the vinegar with the shallot, peppercorns, tarragon sprigs and lemon juice. Simmer until just a tablespoon of liquid or so remains. Strain into a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. With a hand blender, whisk in the egg yolks until the mixture thickens, which will take several minutes. Take off the heat and whisk whilst drizzling in the warm clarified very slowly – do not add the milky solids at the bottom of butter. Add seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice, tasting and adjusting to your palate. Lastly stir in the chopped tarragon and keep warm over the saucepan of hot water.

TO FINISH
3 – 4 rumps of Suffolk lamb, trimmed (depending on size)
3 garlic cloves
Leaves from 3 rosemary stems
Local rapeseed oil
Sea salt and black peppermill
Watercress
1 tbsp lemon juice
Half tsp Dijon-style mustard
2 handfuls trimmed watercress

Pre-heat the oven to 200c. Heat up an ovenproof frying pan. Pound the garlic and rosemary in a pestle and mortar and at the end, mix in a tablespoon or two of oil. Criss-cross the fat of the lamb and season generously. When the pan is very hot, add a little oil and brown the lamb for a minute or two on all sides. Pour over the garlic-herb oil and coat the lamb on all sides. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes (medium) or to your taste. Remove to a hot plate and rest for five minutes somewhere warm.

In a bowl, whisk up 1tbsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp oil, seasoning and mustard. Taste and adjust, then dress the watercress.

Carve the lamb thickly. On four warm plates, place a fondant ‘at 12 o’clock’, watercress in the centre and a semi-circle of lentils underneath, fan out the lamb slices on top, leaning onto the potato. Serve the béarnaise in a warm jug on the side.