Ian Shields, owner and chef of Auckland’s Vic Road Kitchen, is a British-born chef with more than 17 years’ experience in the food industry, 13 of which he spent in Queenstown, some of those working with Josh Emett on establishing Madam Woo. He opened Vic Road Kitchen in Devonport in 2018 with his wife, Harriet Shields, who, with a post-graduate diploma in Wine Science, is well-placed to handle the drinks list. Here, Ian shares a lamb recipe, with seasonal accompaniments, worth dusting off the barbie for.
Barbecued lamb rump with romesco sauce, new season asparagus and white anchovy
4 lamp rumps, cap on (approx. 160g each)
2 bunches asparagus
8 white anchovies (optional)
1 bulb garlic
120g whole blanched almonds
400g tinned roasted red peppers or 600g of fresh red capsicums
3 whole tomatoes
60ml sherry vinegar
200ml extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli flakes
Flaked sea salt, to taste
Preheat barbecue to a medium heat.
For the romesco sauce: Wrap garlic in tin foil and place on the barbecue for 20 minutes until roasted through, soft and easy to squeeze. In a pan, dry roast the hazelnuts and almonds until brown – be careful not to let them burn. If you’re using fresh capsicums, place them and the tomatoes on the barbecue whole and keep turning until blackened on all sides. This should take about 10 minutes. If using a jar of roasted red pepper, just place the tomatoes on the barbie and add the peppers in later, when blending the sauce.
Once the capsicums have been charred, place in a bowl and wrap with cling film, allowing them to steam for 10 minutes. This will make it easy to peel the skin off and discard the seeds. Do not rinse with water as you will lose flavour. Reserve 40g of hazelnuts. Then blend the remaining romesco ingredients, including the popped-out flesh of the grilled garlic, in a blender until smooth and season to taste. Put aside while you cook the lamb.
Score the lamb fat by crisscrossing the fatty cap with a sharp knife (this will help render the fat while cooking). Rub the lamb with flaky sea salt and a small amount of olive oil.
On a medium heat, place the lamb fat side down on the barbecue and allow the fat to render and crisp up (this will take about 8 minutes). Turn the lamb and allow it to cook for a further 12 minutes. You are looking for an internal temperature of 60C-65C for a medium rare/pink cook. Rest for 10 minutes.
While the lamb is resting, grill the asparagus on the barbie for 3 minutes, turning regularly. Season the asparagus with the zest of 1 lemon, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
Slice the lamb, plate up with a generous amount of romesco sauce, grilled asparagus and sprinkle with the remaining hazelnuts. Finish with two white anchovy fillets per each serving.
Why did you choose this recipe?
Even though it hasn’t always felt like it, spring is here, which means lots of new-season produce, including asparagus, tomatoes and capsicums. This recipe makes full use of these ingredients, as well as giving us a chance to dust off the barbecue for another season. The romesco sauce was inspired by our recent trip to Spain and is a classic sauce used in or on a lot of Spanish dishes. This dish is a nice, light spring supper that you can enjoy outside with a glass of chilled grenache or another light, chilled red wine. For a year-round dish, you could substitute asparagus for courgettes or green beans.
What does your Sunday look like?
Working in hospitality, we don’t ever have a “normal” regular Sunday. Sometimes I might need to work or stay close to home in case I am needed at work. If we can, we try to make it a family day which usually involves taking our three dogs and two little ones for a walk or all going to our local markets to see what new and interesting produce is around. I’m a seasonal cook and the menu changes on a daily basis at Vic Road Kitchen, and I get inspired by what I find at the markets. What I find will often lead to a home-cooked Sunday dinner for our extended family. They are my guinea pigs for new recipe ideas but no one ever seems to complain.