Simon Hopkinson pairs succulent new lamb with creamy, tender broad beans and a new take on an old ice-cream favourite.
Poached lamb in the style of a ‘navarin’, served with creamed broad beans and mint (serves 4)
Ingredients for the lamb broth
Half a breast or neck of lamb, sliced/chopped into about 6 pieces
4 celery stalks, cut in half
5 cloves garlic, bruised
2 small onions, halved
1tspn Maldon salt
1tspn black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 large glass white wine
1 small leg of lamb, boned (boned weight about 1kg) and trimmed of excess fat
12 small carrots, peeled and left whole
12 small onions, peeled and left whole
12 new potatoes, scraped clean
8 small parsnips, peeled and left whole
Small bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Put all the ingredients for the broth into a pot (it should later accommodate the leg of lamb relatively snugly) and add about 1.5 litres of cold water. Slowly bring up to a simmer, skim off all resultant scum that appears on the surface and allow to gently cook for about 20 minutes.
Now, immerse the leg of lamb (it needs to be just covered, so add a touch more water if necessary) and quietly simmer for about 45 minutes, which will offer rosy-pink meat; if you prefer the lamb a little more well done, cook for another 10-15 minutes. Lift the leg out, place on a warmed dish, secure in foil and keep warm.
Strain the stock through a colander into a clean pan (discard all solids). Allow to settle and remove the fat from the surface using several sheets of kitchen paper. Strain it again through a fine sieve into a bowl and then tip it back into the pan. Pop in the 12 carrots, onions and potatoes, together with the 8 parsnips. Bring up to a simmer (once again, remove any scum that is generated using a small ladle) and cook the vegetables until tender, uncovered, while also allowing the broth to reduce until a touch syrupy.
To serve, thickly slice the lamb and neatly arrange into a deep, hot serving dish, together with the vegetables tucked alongside. Lavishly scatter with parsley before spooning over the rich broth; the scent of the parsley shocked by the hot broth is a delight. Serve with the broad-bean dish below.
Salty brown-bread ice cream (serves 4)
Note: the amount of brown breadcrumbs will make much more than you’ll need for the given ice-cream recipe. However, it’s both easier and more practical to make a large amount. Any left over may be frozen in small plastic bags in 150g amounts (total weight of breadcrumb mix = 600g), so producing another three ice-cream recipes for whenever you feel the need-and need, you most certainly will! Although the ice-cream recipe sounds unusual (eggs aren’t used), rest assured that it will be one of the easiest you will ever make.
For the brown breadcrumbs
225g breadcrumbs, made from a stale brown-bread loaf of quality
225g soft brown sugar
1½tspn Maldon salt
150g unsalted butter, melted
For the ice-cream
150ml double cream
50g skimmed-milk powder (Marvel, say)
50g liquid glucose
50g caster sugar
1 scant tspn vanilla extract
150g of brown breadcrumbs
Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Tip the breadcrumbs, sugar and salt into a large roasting tin and trickle the melted butter over them. Now, using a fork, mix everything together until it’s a jolly old mess. Spread out over the tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove, fork the mixture around once more and cook for another 15 minutes. By now, the crumbs should have a toasted look to them, but a further 15 minutes’ baking will achieve a final crunch and a pronounced smell of toffee. Allow the crumbs to cool completely.
Once cold, they’ll have clumped together. To return them to coarse crumbs, break them up with the end of a rolling pin or briefly whizz in a food processor. Store as suggested in the recipe introduction, until needed.
Place all the ingredients for the ice cream into a stainless-steel pan, whisk together until smooth and bring up to just below simmering point. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Pour into a bowl, cover and put into the fridge until ice-cold. Churn the mixture in an ice-cream machine until it’s a proper, thick consistency, then add the crumbs (150g) and continue to churn for a minute or two until they’re fully incorporated.
Creamed broad beans and mint
2kg just picked broad beans, podded
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
200ml whipping cream
A thick slice of butter
2tbspn chopped mint leaves
Tiny squeeze of lemon juice
Boil the beans in plenty of salted, boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain. Melt the butter in a pan and add pepper, cream and the drained beans. Stew for a few more minutes, turning them around in the cream until thickened and the beans are tender; eat one to see if they’re done. Stir in the mint and lemon juice and serve without delay, nice and hot.
Scoop out into a lidded, plastic container and place into the freezer to firm up for at least four hours, before serving.
Served with lemon and rosemary leg of lamb or blended into hazelnut pesto, just two of our runner bean recipes