POACHED AND GRILLED LAMB
chard leaves and stems, garum, rosemary
(Yields 6-7, with extra lamb jus, poaching oil and chard)
- 375 g lamb scraps
- 75 g onion, sliced
- 50 g carrot, sliced
- 250 g white wine
- 1 kg AP stock (see page 48)
- Bunch of golden chard with large, broad stems
- 175 g vegetable stock (see page 49)
- 40 g pure olive oil
- 4 g garum
- 1 rack of lamb
- Bunch of rosemary
- 1 kg pure olive oil for poaching
- Fruity olive oil
- Champagne vinegar
Even though I don’t cook (or eat) much of it, I have strong feelings about meat cookery. For meat that’s cooked to temperature (as opposed to braised or confit) like this lamb, I like to cook it once, without cooling, as you would with sous vide. I think the taste is fresher and the meat is juicer. Often times, like here, we cook in two stages, first at low temperature and then finishing on a hot grill. This allows us to control doneness, and also the internal temperature, which should be high enough to activate the juices. Meat that’s overly rested is boring to eat, like some abstraction of perfection. I like a sheen of moisture and fat shimmering across the top of the meat, the juices bursting when chewed.
Trim the lamb, but leave plenty of fat. Don’t like fat? Choose another animal. Lamb without fat is no fun. At Coi we French (remove the fat and clean the bone) only about 1-inch (2cm) at the top of the bone. It’s a nod to tradition, and to show that we know how to do it, but we want to leave the best, most fatty part of the rack attached to the loin, because it tastes great.
Brown the scraps of bones and meat deeply. The intensity will be tempered by the other ingredients in the sauce. Add the onion and the carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened and a little browned. Add the white wine and be sure to scrape up the fond, the bits of meat that cling to the bottom of the pan. It’s the good stuff. When the wine has reduced to almost nothing, add the AP stock and simmer until flavorful, but don’t skim. Strain through a chinois and reduce in a pot that’s taller than it is wide—you want as little surface area as possible. Reduce, skimming, until it achieves sauce consistency, just thick enough to cling to the meat. Don’t season it.
Cut the leaves off the chard stems, and trim the leaves into 1 to 2-inch (2.5 to 5-cm) pieces. Peel the stems. Combine the vegetable stock, pure olive oil and garum, season with salt, and vacuum in a bag with the chard stems. Steam at 185°F (85°C), until the stems are tender, about 45 minutes. Cool and slice into ½ inch (10cm) pieces. Reserve in the cooking liquid.
To serve, blend the rosemary and pure olive oil, reserving one piece of rosemary for he sauce. Put the oil in a metal container and warm to 150°F (65°C) by setting the container inside a water bath controlled by a circulator. Put a mesh rack at the bottom. Salt the rack of lamb and let it stand 20 minutes at room temperature to melt the salt, before dropping it into the oil. Cook to a uniform pink inside, 30-45 minutes. Remove the lamb and grill over charcoal to brown the outside; to raise the internal temperature to make it juicy; and to give the fat and meat a whiff of smoke.
While the lamb is grilling, simmer the chard leaves with the cooked stems, salt and a little water and fruity olive oil, covered, until tender. Drain on a paper towel and then arrange on one side of the plate.
Make the sauce by combining equal parts lamb jus and chard cooking liquid and reduce at a rapid boil. This will temporarily emulsify most (but not all) of the oil into the sauce. Reduce it until the flavor is concentrated, adding the reserved piece of rosemary towards the end. Season with champagne vinegar and more garum if necessary. It should be light and flavorful, sweet and sour, complex from the fermented fish. When it’s right the parts meld into an indivisible whole—it’s hard to explain, but there’s an “aha” moment where it suddenly becomes a great sauce. This is a difficult sauce to make perfectly and it has to be done in the moment, because it will change quickly. Ladle a spoonful over the chard to dress it, and two more next to it for the lamb. Slice the lamb into chops, and lay them in their sauce, not touching the chard.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Coi' Stories and Recipes by Daniel Patterson -published by Phaidon, October 2013- Photography by Maren Caruso)