Lamb rack with confit shoulder and sheep’s curd and potato purée


  • Serves 6 people

  • 6 double lamb cutlets, French trimmed (see note)
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • Lamb confit
  • 500 gm boned lamb shoulder, trimmed
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 10 thyme sprigs, plus 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 100 gm coarse sea salt
  • 2 litres (8 cups) duck fat
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 5 golden shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 5 roast garlic cloves (see note)
  • 50 gm salted capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
  • To serve: blanched green beans
  • Green olive vinaigrette
  • 70 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 saffron threads
  • 40 ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lamb or chicken stock
  • 2 golden shallots, finely chopped
  • 20 large green mammoth olives, pitted, finely chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • Sheep’s curd and potato purée
  • 4 large Sebago potatoes (about 1kg), quartered
  • 150 gm cold butter, finely chopped
  • 150 gm sheep’s curd (see note)
  • 50 ml warm milk
01   For lamb confit, place lamb in a non-reactive dish, pound garlic, thyme sprigs, juniper berries, rosemary and salt in a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground, rub over lamb, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until lightly cured (3 hours).
02   Preheat oven to 130C. Scrape salt from lamb, rinse, fit snugly in a deep roasting pan, cover with duck fat and cook until meat falls from bone (3-4 hours). Remove lamb from fat (reserve 1 tbsp fat), cool, coarsely shred with fork and place in a bowl. Add parsley, thyme leaves, shallots, garlic, capers and reserved duck fat, stir to combine and season to taste. Lay four sheets of plastic wrap on top of each other on a work surface. Place lamb mixture on top, wrap tightly, twisting ends, to form a sausage. Refrigerate until firm (2-3 hours).
03   Meanwhile, for green olive vinaigrette, combine oil and saffron in a saucepan over medium heat until warm (20-30 seconds), remove from heat and stand until infused (2 hours). Add remaining ingredients, whisk to combine and season to taste.
04   For sheep’s curd and potato purée, increase oven to 150C. Cook potato in boiling salted water until soft (20-25 minutes), drain, mash until smooth. Working quickly, add half the butter, then return to a clean pan over low heat and whisk in sheep’s curd, milk and remaining butter until well combined (if it starts to separate, remove from heat and add more milk). Season to taste, set aside and keep warm.
05   Season lamb cutlets generously. Heat 40ml olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan, cook cutlets fat-side down over medium-high heat until golden (5-7 minutes), then cook until brown (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer to oven and roast until cooked to your liking (5-7 minutes for medium rare). Cover with foil and keep warm.
06   Meanwhile, slice confit into six 3cm rounds. Heat remaining oil in an ovenproof frying pan, add confit, turn once until brown (1 minute each side). Roast in oven until heated through (2-3 minutes). Arrange confit, cutlets and purée on plates, drizzle with vinaigrette and serve with green beans.
Note To roast garlic, preheat oven to 180C. Wrap garlic head in foil and bake until soft (20-30 minutes), then squeeze cloves from skins. Sheep’s curd is available from select delicatessens. Double lamb cutlets are available from select butchers. You may need to order in advance.
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