Cooking for Samin

Great to be back at my blog after a busy few months. So what’s new?

Apart from seeing to PML’s processing and domestic distribution, currently I am watching a new series on Netflix with chef and food writer Samin Nosrat. It’s titled Salt Fat Acid Heat and is based on her multi-award-winning book of the same name. The series is as engaging and provoking as her book.

Cooking for Samin
I’d heard of Samin’s best seller but never imagined we would meet. It was a fantastic surprise when Fleur Sullivan (Fleur’s Place, Moeraki), rang and told me that she had Samin coming to stay overnight and asked me if I would come up and cook for her. I gave an emphatic yes! As it turned out, not only did I have the pleasure of meeting Samin and cooking for her, but enjoyed some free ranging and, at times, riotous conversation (watch the series to see what I mean).

Sitting around the table with a small group of friends we experienced a warm and bubbly person, so relaxed and humble you could easily forget that this was someone with an incredible passion and knowledge of food, not to mention a published and internationally recognized author. Clearly Samin has struck a nerve with her approach to cooking. No pretension here, just the joy of good food.

The intention was to present Provenance Lamb while introducing our wonderful bio-farmed story and how this creates a unique-to-our-brand flavour and texture. I was confident she would have never experienced a meat like this before and, based on her enthusiastic reaction, she hadn’t. It was great to talk in-depth about what Provenance is doing and have her respond with many questions and an exchange of ideas.

For my part, meeting Samin and getting to know a little bit more about her in person has added a credible and engaging element to the series – just like having her for dinner.

So here is what I prepared  for the dinner:

Cooking for Samin
Roast lamb rump, shoulder croquette, celeriac & parsnip puree, maple roasted shallots, caper & mint jus.

A combination of slow-cooked shoulder and a medium served rump gave a contrast in texture with concentrated and clean flavours that showcased the versatility without losing the unique flavor profile.

The slightly sweet earthiness of the parsnip & celeriac puree, along with the creaminess, complimented the soft buttery texture of the lamb perfectly.

This was a true reflection of the natural terroir of the farm and completed the story perfectly.

So here’s the recipe – for serving eight – I hope you have as much fun preparing and eating it as I did…

The Rumps

4 x Provenance Lamb Rumps

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

 

To prepare the rumps season with salt & pepper and rub with olive oil. Sear all over in a heavy-based pan to colour and then place into a preheated 190° C oven for 10mins approx until medium done-ness. Rest in a warm place for 15 mins before carving.

 

Caper & Mint Jus

250ml Lamb Glaze

30g baby capers, drained

Red wine vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

1 bunch fresh mint, bruised

 

For the jus, deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar, add the lamb glaze, capers and bruised mint and allow to gently infuse for 30 minutes on a warm heat. Remove the bunch of mint, correct seasoning and set aside until required.

The Croquettes

1 x 1.2 kg Provenance Lamb oyster shoulder

1 tsp fresh Thyme

1 x Garlic clove

Salt & Pepper

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbs cornichon, fine diced

1 tbs, chopped chives

250g Panko Crumbs

2 x eggs beaten

200g flour

 

For the croquettes, place the lamb shoulder in an oven bag with thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Seal the bag allowing a small vent hole and slow bake the shoulder until it falls away from the bone, approx 3 hours @ 160 °C.

 

When the lamb is ready lift off the skin and pull away the meat from the bones and any gristle. Place the picked meat into a bowl and gently fork through the diced cornichon, mustard and chives, avoiding breaking up the meat too much. Place into a small rectangular baking tray and press into a 2cm thick slab. Place in the refrigerator to set (3hrs min or overnight).

 

When the lamb has set, cut evenly into small blocks or courgette shaped rods and dust in flour, then beaten egg and completely cover in panko crumbs. Allow the croquettes to set in the fridge for 30 minutes before dropping into hot oil to cook until crisp and golden.

 

The celeriac & parsnip puree

300g celeriac, peeled & diced

300g parsnip, peeled & diced

100ml milk

Pinch of grated nutmeg

5g Salt

White pepper to taste

50g cold butter

 

 

Place the parsnips and celeriac into a saucepan along with the milk, pepper & nutmeg. Place a lid on the pot and gently simmer, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and soft. Place into a food processor or Vitamix and blend, adding in the butter and finally the salt to create a smooth creamy puree. Keep hot until required.

Maple roasted shallots

500g shallots, peeled & split in 1/2

20mls olive oil

Salt & pepper

50g maple syrup

10ml red wine vinegar

 

Place the shallots in a roasting dish, mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and then brush this mix generously over the shallots. Place into a 180° preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until they caramelize and are tender. Set aside until required.

 

To serve: Place a croquette on each serving plate along with a thick slice of rump (½ rump per portion). Decorate artistically with the puree and onions, dress the rump with the jus and serve.

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