Thomas Schauer
Vermont Spring Lamb, Peas à la Française, adapted from Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud & Sylvie Bigar with essays by Bill Buford.
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Vermont Spring Lamb, Peas à la Française

Daniel: My French Cuisine, Daniel Boulud & Sylvie Bigar with essays by Bill Buford - December 8th, 2013

This recipe has been adapted from Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud & Sylvie Bigar with essays by Bill Buford―a book featured in Words-to-Table Cooking, Food Arts' yearly roundup of chef-authored cookbooks.

After we butcher half of a 20-pound lamb, every piece finds its place with this classic spring combination of peas, lettuce, carrot, and oregano. The glazed confit shoulder supports a perfect disk made with the saddle wrapped around oregano and slices of lamb kidney. On either side, a lamb chop bookends a perfect gigot. The front of the plate holds a barbajuan, a sort of crispy dumpling, filled with braised lamb to add richness and crunch to this tender spring specialty, delivered to us from Lydia Ratcliff, a member of the Fancy Meats from Vermont co-op.

Serves 8

Sous-vide braised shoulder:

  • 1 (2-pound) lamb shoulder, deboned
  • salt & freshly ground white pepper
  • piment d'Espelette
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 3 1/2 oz. button mushrooms, trimmed, rinsed, patted dry, and quartered
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lamb heart, diced
  • 1 1/2 oz. lamb liver, diced
  • 1/2 oz. chopped tomato confit
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine
  1. Lay shoulder on cutting board; lay sheet of plastic wrap on top of shoulder; using a flat meat mallet, pound into a 1/2" thickness.

  2. Cut shoulder into 7" square; weigh and reserve 12 oz. of trim for stuffing, chilled; season shoulder with salt, pepper, and piment d'Espelette on both sides; reserve, chilled.

  3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in medium sauté pan over high heat; add mushrooms; sauté 3 minutes, or until browned; transfer to paper-towel lined plate; chill; return pan to medium-low heat; add remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil; add onion and garlic; cook until translucent (about 4 minutes); transfer to large bowl; add mushrooms, reserved shoulder trim, lamb heart, liver, tomato confit, and white wine; season with salt, pepper, and piment d'Espelette; mix well; cover; refrigerate until well chilled.

  4. Using an immersion circulator, preheat water bath to 144˚F.

  5. Pass meat mixture through chilled meat grinder fit with coarse plate; spread ground meat in even layer onto shoulder and roll into a log; line flat surface with 1' double layer of plastic wrap; set rolled shoulder in center; tightly wrap shoulder in plastic; tie off ends to secure; place in sous-vide bag; vacuum seal; submerge in water bath; cook 3 hours; remove from water; chill in bowl of ice water; reserve.

Lamb jus and braised shank:

  • 3 Tbsps. olive oil
  • lamb bones (about 6 lbs.) from 1/2 lamb, chopped into 1" pieces, rinsed and patted dried
  • 2 (5" long) lamb shanks
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, quartered and seeded
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sachet (1/2 tsp. each coriander seeds, black peppercorns, and crushed red pepper wrapped in cheesecloth and secured with butcher's twine)
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • salt & freshly ground white pepper
  • piment d'Espelette
  1. In large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add bones and shanks in single layer, searing on all sides until well browned (about 15 minutes total); reduce heat to medium; add onion, shallots, carrots, and garlic; cook 6 minutes; add tomatoes and white wine; simmer until almost dry; add bay leaf, thyme, sachet, and chicken stock; bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to surface; reduce heat to simmer; cook 3 hours, skimming as necessary.

  2. Strain liquid through colander set over bowl; reserve shanks; discard bones and vegetables; strain liquid through fine-mesh sieve into medium saucepan; reduce 45 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon; reserve.

  3. Meanwhile, pick and shred meat from shanks into medium bowl, mixing in a few spoonfuls of cooking liquid to moisten; season with salt, pepper, and piment d'Espelette; while still warm, pack mixture into 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" loaf pan; press surface into even layer; cover; reserve, chilled.

Stuffed lamb loin:

  • 1 bonesless lamb loin with belly flap attached (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 lamb tenderloin
  • 1 lamb kidney
  • 10 oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp. (6g) salt (per lb. of meat)
  • 1/4 tsp. (1g) freshly ground white pepper (per lb. of meat)
  • 1/4 tsp. (1g) piment d'Espelette (per lb. of meat)

Weigh loin, tenderloin, and kidney; scale needed amount of seasoning according to ratio; lay loin on cutting board so belly flap is spread out, facing inside up; lightly pound flap with flat meat tenderizer; score a cross-hatch pattern with paring knife; slice kidney lengthwise into 3 pieces; sprinkle seasoning evenly over loins, flaps, and kidney; line tenderloin and kidney against loin on top of belly flap and top with line of oregano leaves; tightly roll flap up and around the meats to form a log; tie log at 1" intervals with butcher's twine; reserve, chilled.

Lamb shank barbajuan (makes extra):

  • 1 1/2 cups 00 pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 1/2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • braised lamb shank cubes, reserved from above
  1. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, oil, and salt with 5 Tbsps. water; mix on low speed until dough comes together; increase speed to medium and knead 5 minutes; remove dough; divide in half; cover; chill at least 30 minutes.

  2. Cut reserved braised shank mixture into 1/2" cubes.

  3. Pass 1/2 of dough through pasta machine, gradually reducing the thickness until it is 1/16" thick and approximately 16" long and 7 1/2" wide; repeat with second half of dough; sprinkle counter with flour; lay 1 sheet of dough horizontally on top; line cubes of braised lamb onto dough, leaving 1" of space between them; lightly brush in between the cubes with water; set second sheet of dough on top; press lightly to seal; cut between the mounds to separate; use small offset spatula or back of paring knife to press dough flat around each mound of filling to make tight, square pockets; cut edges of dough around the filling to 1/8" borders; store, frozen.

Artichoke barigoule:

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 11 baby artichokes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. In large bowl, combine lemon juice and 1 gal. ice water; to clean each artichoke, trim end of stem and 1/2" from tip; peel away rough outer leaves, leaving pale yellow tender leaves intact; using vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the stem and any tough leaf remnants from the base; submerge artichokes in the lemon water immediately after cleaning.

  2. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat; add onion, carrot, and garlic; cook, stirring, 2 minutes; add white wine; simmer 1 minute.

  3. Strain 8 artichokes from bowl, reserving 3 for artichoke chips; add to pan with chicken stock, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and salt; simmer 15 minutes, until chokes are tender; cool at room temperature; halve the artichokes; store submerged in cooking liquid, chilled.

Ragoût of peas and romaine lettuce:

  • salt
  • 4 cups English peas, shelled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cippolini onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsps. Oregano, chopped
  • white pepper, freshly ground
  1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil; set bowl of ice water on side; boil peas 20 seconds, until tender; chill in ice water; peel skins from 3 cups of peas; reserve.

  2. Pour cream into medium saucepan; bring to simmer; transfer to blender with remaining peas; puree until smooth; strain through fine-meshed sieve into bowl set over ice; stir until chilled.

  3. To serve, heat olive oil in medium sauté pan over medium heat; add onions; cook until translucent (about 2 minutes); add reserved peeled peas and romaine lettuce; stir until heated through; stir in half of pea puree and oregano; season with salt and pepper; reserve, keeping warm.

Roasted lamb leg:

  • 1 (5-lb. lamb leg)
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • piment d'Espelette
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 (2") sprig rosemary
  • 1 (2") sprig oregano
  • 2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 300˚F.

  2. Rest leg at room temperature 15 minutes; season all sides with salt, pepper, and piment d'Espelette.

  3. In large roasting pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add lamb; sear on all sides until golden brown; reduce heat to medium; add garlic, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and butter; continue to cook, basting with butter and turning occasionally, 5 minutes; transfer to oven; continue to roast, basting every 10 minutes for 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 122˚F; cover with aluminum foil; rest in warm place for 20 minutes.

Cippolini onions and baby carrots:

  • 7 medium cippolini onions
  • 7 small baby carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • salt
  • white pepper, freshly ground

In small sauté pan, combine onions, carrots, chicken stock, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper; cook at just below simmer 45 minutes, or until tender; strain; cut a 1/8" cap from tops of onions; scoop small cavity from middle of onions; fill with reserved pea puree; return to pan with carrots; cover; keep warm.

Assembly:

  • canola oil (for frying)
  • 5 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 lamb rack (with 8 bones, 1/2 lb.), Frenched and tied
  • salt
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 4 Tbsps. unsalted butter
  • artichoke chips
  • 1/4 cup yellow pea shoots
  • 1/4 cup green pea shoots
  • 1 baby carrot, peeled and shaved through fine-toothed comb on a mandoline
  1. Fill 1/2 of medium saucepan with oil; heat to 350˚F; rest stuffed lamb loins and racks at room temperature 10 minutes.

  2. Slice shoulder roulade into 8 pieces; place in shallow dish; top with reserved sauce; cover; transfer to oven to heat through (about 20 minutes).

  3. Heat 2 Tbsps. olive oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat; season reserved stuffed loin and rack with salt and pepper; sear on all sides (about 5 minutes total); reduce heat to medium; add thyme, oregano, rosemary, garlic, and butter; continue cooking, basting with butter, 2 minutes; transfer to oven; roast about 10 minutes, flipping and basting every 2 minutes, until the internal temperatures of the loin and rack reach 116˚F; cover rack and loin; let rest in warm place for at least 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, strain artichoke barigoule; pat dry; heat remaining 3 Tbsps. olive oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat; sear artichokes cut-side down until browned; flip; continue cooking until heated through (about 2 minutes); season with salt and pepper.

  5. Deep-fry barbajuans until golden brown; transfer to paper towel-lined plate; season with salt.

  6. Slice leg into bite-size portions; slice rack and stuffed loin into 8 portions each.

  7. For each serving, place large spoonful of pea and romaine lettuce ragoût on 1 side of warm dinner plate; arrange 1 slice each of rack, loin, shoulder, and leg on top of ragoût; arrange 2 halved carrots and an artichoke half around meat; set 1 barbajuan, 1 pea puree–stuffed onion, and piece of artichoke barigoule in a line on the other side of plate; place an artichoke chip on the artichoke, a few yellow and green pea shoots on lamb, and some shaved carrot on the onion; spoon sauce from pan with the shoulder onto the plate.

Recipe from DANIEL: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud. Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Boulud. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.