This dish provides a year round availability of ingredients, and versatility that can be utilised for other meats such as pork or even duck. Aside from this recipe being very flavoursome and hearty, its also healthy and if you shop around for your ingredients it wont break the bank.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
4 Lamb Loin steaks or chops (alternatives pork loin, pork chops, duck breast, chicken thighs, turkey steak)
6 Leaves savoy cabbage (or seasonal variant)
100g Smoked bacon (chopped) (You can get bacon trimmings or cooking bacon for cheapness)
6 Cherry tomatoes
100g smoked ham
pinch mace (optional)
Half a handful fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic crushed
Cracked black pepper or crushed peppercorns
Preparation (2 or 3 hours before eating):
Chop off the tops and bottoms of the courgettes and cut lengthways. Put on baking tray and season with olive oil, and salt and pepper. Throw the tomatoes into the same tray, then put grill on moderate heat (not too hot) and grill until courgettes begin to brown at the edges. Turn them over at this point for about 4 minutes then remove from heat and allow to cool.
While the courgettes are grilling chop the ham into small pieces and put in food processor with about a teaspoon of the rosemary and a garlic clove, and the butter, along with the cinnamon, nutmeg and the mace. When the courgettes have rested put them in also and allow the food processor the mulch it down to a puree. Taste at this point and season if necessary with salt and pepper. Remove from food processor and into a pan for reheating later. For added freshness you can add lemon juice and / or zest to the puree, but this is purely optional. This will work with all of the meats mentioned above however. Lamb and lemon are indeed best of friends.
Take the lamb chops (or other meat) and crush the cooked tomatoes, garlic and rosemary into a paste and smear it onto the lamb. Don't worry about it being a unfiorm paste, keeping the crushed appearance of the tomatoes will add the rustic element to the dish, and give an embellishment and charm. Season the other side of the lamb first with salt and pepper first though. Put into a container or wrap in cling film to marinade for about 2-3 hours to absorb the flavours for when we cook it later. Dont worry about refrigerating it either. Given that our Lamb is a red meat, helping it to age at room temperature will develop its flavour also. In the case of turkey pork or chicken however, keeping it cool is prudent.
Chop and wash the cabbage as finely as you are happy with, then cook the cabbge for 3-4 mins in boiling salted water until bright green. Strain and cool down in cold (or ice) water as quickly as possible for later use.
Put your feet up for a few hours and take time to reward yourself with a hot beverage.
Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan and set your grill to the same setting as when you grilled the courgettes earlier. add some olive oil to the pan (tsp) and sear the bottom (non tomato side) of the lamb. take the pan and put it under the grill. When the lamb is done to your liking (nice and pink for me) remove from grill and allow to rest for a few minutes. Putting a lid on the pan as it cools gradually will help keep the meat moist.
Put a fire under the puree pan to reheat. Stir occasionally until piping hot.
In a separate pan sear off the chopped bacon then add the cabbage, season well and add the remaining 50g of butter just before serving.
Et voila. Serve quickly and devour.