rolled lamb neck with almond and rosemary, braised dirt(y) kangaroo island red nugget lentils with smoked eggplant

(february 2012)

I was recently down at The Parade Food, Wine and Music Festival, which was a great day with a excellent blend of food, wine and local entertainment. Thanks to Norwood Foodland who kindly supplied all the boutique and local artisan produce for my demo of the rolled lamb neck with the braised dirt(y) Kangaroo Island Pure Grain red nugget lentils. Here's the recipe...

rolled lamb neck with almond and rosemary, braised dirt(y) kangaroo island red nugget lentils with smoked eggplant

serves 6 to 8

1 bone-out Spanish lamb neck, approx 1.2 kg (or forequarter/shoulder bone-out, i.e. a "lamb roast" of any type will do)
1 teaspoon Murray River salt flakes
lots of cracked black pepper
juice of half a lemon
30 ml Australian extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt
60 g Australian whole, skin-on almonds, toasted for 10 mins in 180°C oven
8 sprigs rosemary
3 cloves peeled Australian garlic
¼ bunch parsley, leaves and stems
½ cup pitted green Coriole olives
2 white anchovy
25 ml Coriole or Maggie Beer extra virgin olive oil

Preheat a fan forced oven to 140°C.

Trim lamb neck and lay out flat, skin side down. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt.

Blend almonds, rosemary, garlic, parsley, olives, anchovy and olive oil in a food processor, to a chunky paste. Smear paste on lamb neck and roll up. Truss with butchers net/string. Season the outside and place in oven for 3 to 3 and ½ hours.

Remove and place in a preheated heavy based pan over a medium heat. Season with remaining sea salt and cracked pepper and sear all sides to render lamb skin and fat. Remove and rest 20 mins. Carve and drizzle with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

200 g dirt(y) Kangaroo Island red nugget lentils
1 litre Maggie Beer vegie stock
1 tablespoon Murray River salt flakes
1 bay leaf
2 Swiss brown mushroom, diced small
1 carrot, diced small
1 leek, diced small
1 stick celery, diced small
2 shallot, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small bulb fennel, diced small
100 g Hindmarsh Valley Dairy demi sel (lightly salted) butter
3 sprigs thyme
¼ bunch parsley leaves, chopped

Place lentils, bay leaf and salt in stock and bring up to gentle simmer. Cook over a medium flame for about 1 hour ¼ hours until tender.

Meanwhile in a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat sauté the shallot, garlic, celery, leek, fennel, carrot and mushroom in the butter until soft. Remove from heat and add finely chopped thyme and parsley. Add to cooked lentils.

2 medium eggplant
100 g B.-d. Paris Creek or Hindmarsh Valley Dairy yogurt
juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon sea salt
pinch smoked paprika
3 tablespoons unhulled (dark) tahini
drizzle extra virgin olive oil

Grill the eggplant over a flame or on a hot plate until blackened and soft, place in bowl with cling wrap on top to sweat skin off for 10 mins.

Scoop out eggplant flesh and blend in processor with lemon juice, yogurt, tahini and salt.

Place lentils on plate, with a slice of lamb, dollop of eggplant, a sprinkle of tahini, and finally a splash of extra virgin olive oil.