Forequarter of lamb with chickpea cream and fennel salad

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 1 forequarter of lamb (about 2kg), jointed (see note)
  • 400 ml each dry white wine and chicken stock
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • To serve: fresh chickpeas, blanched (optional, see note), and lemon wedges
  •  
  • Chickpea cream
  • 1 kg dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, drained
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 200 ml hot chicken stock
  • 150 ml mild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1½ lemons
  •  
  • Fennel salad
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 baby fennel bulb, shaved on a mandolin, placed in iced water until required, drained
  • ½ Spanish onion, shaved on a mandolin
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon rind
01   Preheat oven to 250C. Place lamb in a large roasting pan, pour wine, stock and oil over, season well to taste and roast until starting to turn golden (15 minutes). Reduce oven to 150C and roast, basting frequently, until meat falls from the bone (2½-3 hours).
02   For chickpea cream, combine chickpeas and enough cold water to cover generously in a saucepan (do not salt water), bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, adding garlic in last 20 minutes of cooking (45 minutes-1 hour). Drain, transfer to a food processor and blend until chickpeas break down. Gradually add stock and oil, process to a smooth purée, add lemon juice and 3 tsp salt and stir to combine.
03   For fennel salad, toss ingredients to combine in a bowl and set aside.
04   Spoon chickpea cream onto plates, top with lamb, fennel salad and fresh chickpeas if using. Drizzle with pan juices and serve with lemon wedges.
Note Ask your butcher to joint the lamb; this makes it easier to serve portions on the bone. Fresh chickpeas are difficult to find; when in season, they’re available from Field to Feast.

This recipe is from the April 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

LISA FEATHERBY

Photography:

CHRIS COURT

Styling:

LUCY WEIGHT

Drinking Suggestion:

RICH BAROSSA SHIRAZ. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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