Recipe: Pulled Leg of Lamb with Savoy Cabbage, Capers & Beurre Noisette

By Colleen Thorpe

1 comment
This is a beautiful dish. Photo/Thinkstock
This is a beautiful dish. Photo/Thinkstock

Confit leg of lamb in duck fat is an amazing way of cooking, and the result is a beautiful flavour and very tender meat. You can press the lamb once cooked, then cut it into strips or chunks and fry until crispy; or "pull" or shred the lamb to make these wonderful cabbage balls. These are a sort of take on lamb faggots and if you really want to increase the flavour, folding some sauteed lamb offal through the mixture is the way to go.

1kg leg of lamb, bone-out and trimmed of excess fat and sinew

4 cloves garlic, crushed

5 sprigs thyme

5 sprigs rosemary

1/4 cup salt

1&1/2 litres duck fat

Splash sherry vinegar

6 outside leaves Savoy cabbage

1 onion, halved and sliced

200g butter

1/2 cup capers

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Cut lamb into roughly 5cm cubes. Toss in the garlic, thyme, rosemary and salt and leave for at least 6 hours. Wash off the excess salt with cold water. Pat completely dry with paper towels. Seal the pieces of lamb in a little duck fat in a hot frying pan until golden brown. Place the lamb in a large saucepan and cover with the duck fat, and bring to the boil. Slowly cook at 70C, or just below a simmer, for around 2-2&1/2 hours until tender.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly in the fat. Once cooled, flake gently. Place the flaked lamb in a mixing bowl and season with vinegar and salt, adding a little duck fat to help it bind. Roll into 6 tennis ball-size balls. Chill. Blanch the Savoy cabbage leaves in boiling salted water until cooked. Remove and pat dry. Lay out a square of clingfilm and place a cabbage leaf on top. Place a lamb ball in the centre and, using the corners of the clingfilm, pull up the sides and gently mould into a ball, pull tight and tie. Repeat with remaining leaves and lamb balls. Chill for 1-2 hours to set.

Set the oven to 180C. Take out the lamb balls and remove the clingfilm. Place in a roasting tray so they are all just touching. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 25 minutes until hot through.

Meanwhile, sweat down the onions in oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, until soft and without colouring.

In a separate pan, heat the butter over a medium heat until it begins to brown. Throw in the capers, followed by the parsley, cooked onion and lemon juice and zest. Pour onions and sauce over the lamb balls and serve.

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