Double Lamb Forequarter with Roasted Vegetable Stuffing and Beetroot Jus
To make this feasting dish visit your butcher ahead so the cut can be prepared for you. The forequarter is the sweetest part of a lamb.
The double lamb forequarter in our recipe includes 10 ribs per side. If you decrease the size and go to 7 ribs this will decrease the per/kg price as your butcher will not be cutting into the lamb cutlets which he sells as Frenched lamb rack. Our double forequarter comes from a 17kg lamb.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 7kg double lamb forequarter, with rib bones and shanks removed but back bone remaining
Roasted Vegetable Stuffing
2½ cups Sauvignon Blanc
Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a very large roasting tray with oil.
Place forequarter into a large bowl, rib end facing upwards. Fill cavity with Roasted Vegetable Stuffing and pack in firmly. Place a small piece of Teflon, or greased aluminium foil, at either end to hold in stuffing.
Using a long piece of twine, tie forequarter lengthwise and widthwise to ensure stuffing doesn’t fall out.
Place stuffed forequarter into the roasting tray and refrigerate overnight, or place into preheated oven. Roast for 30 minutes and then baste with pan juices. Decrease oven temperature to 180°C. Cook lamb for a further 2 hours, basting with pan juices every 15 minutes or so. Because basting is important, set up a kitchen whiteboard with timings and delegate the basting to a zealous guest!
Temporarily remove from oven to tip off most of the fat collected in base of roasting tray. Remove fat for another use. Pour in wine and place back in oven to cook for a further 1-1½ hours or till shoulder end is cooked till medium rare and stuffing is hot.
Remove lamb from oven. To rest cover the tray with several heavy dry tea towels and sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. Tuck the tea towels under the tray rather than tucking into the tray. Resting is important as it will distribute juices evenly through the meat and greatly improve your ability to cave the lamb well.
Present lamb in a spectacular fashion on a groaning platter.
To carve lamb: Transfer lamb to a chopping board. Using a sharp knife cut along each side of the backbone and lift bone away. Cut through the stuffing to make two separate halves. Turn the halves so the rounded side is uppermost.
At shoulder end carve slices of meat to expose the shoulder blade. When you reach the blade bone, cut around and underneath to free it at the same time freeing the top shoulder bone. Lift out and cut away any meat still remaining on the bones.
Carve the shoulder into thick slices, incorporating stuffing with each slice. Bone and carve the second shoulder in the same way.
Accompany with Beetroot Jus.
Roasted Vegetable Stuffing
(enough to stuff one double lamb forequarter)
This stuffing is delectable before you put into the lamb but once it is cooked and absorbs the lamb juices it is absolutely to die for.
2 red onions, peeled and diced
½ small pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-1.5cm dice
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-1.5cm dice
2 kumara, peeled and cut into 1-1.5cm dice
6 tablespoons olive oil
24-32 cloves Roasted Garlic, squeezed from skin and lightly mashed
400g fresh white breadcrumbs, day old bread crumbed in food processor
2 tablespoons lemon zest, long strands made with a lemon zester
14 sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons finely chopped oregano leaves
1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
1½ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
175g butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 200°C.
On 1 or 2 low-sided roasting trays place onion, pumpkin, parsnip and kumara. Sprinkle each tray with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss vegetables to coat and spread vegetables out so they are not touching.
Place into preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes till vegetables are tender. Remove from oven and cool.
Into a large bowl place roasted vegetables, garlic, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, sundried tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour in melted butter. Toss ingredients together till stuffing holds together when squeezed in the hand.
Set aside in refrigerator till ready to use.
Buy beetroot juice from a juice bar and as it has a short shelf life freeze till you are ready to make this jus. Alternatively make beetroot juice in a vegetable juicer. Lovely with lamb or venison.
½ cup beef stock
1½ cups beetroot juice, you require 1kg of peeled fresh beetroot
½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour beef stock into a small pot and, over a medium-high heat, reduce by half.
Add beetroot juice and reduce to approximately 1 cup in volume.
Remove from heat and stir in redcurrant jelly and balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper to taste.