This spring lamb recipe is a staple seasonal dish from the River Room menu currently. It uses local spring lamb, new season Jersey royal potatoes and wild garlic from the grounds of the resort.
Also, being English asparagus season, it is complemented nicely by a couple of spears of white asparagus. It has a nice rich and smooth cauliflower puree to add a bit of extra substance to the dish and another texture.
– 1 large 7-8 bone lamb rack, trimmed
– 1 cauliflower
– 250g jersey royal potatoes
– 50g parmesan
– Handful of wild garlic leaves
– 6 spears of large white asparagus
– 150ml milk
– 250g butter
– 100ml olive oil
– Salt & pepper
1. Trim the florettes off the cauliflower and discard the stalks and leaves
2. Cover with a little milk and a small knob of butter and simmer until the cauliflower is soft
3. Add parmesan and blend until smooth and set aside
For the Jersey royal potatoes
1. Wash the potatoes until very clean then trim off a little length ways on each side to form a flat surface.
2. Take a wide saucepan and coat the bottom with a little butter, around 75g.
3. Season the butter well and then push the potatoes into it. Cook on a stove on a low to medium heat until they are golden on one side, being careful not to burn the butter, they can go into a low oven at this point if they are still not cooked.
For the White Asparagus
1. Carefully peel a couple of spears of white asparagus (English is best this time of year ,green asparagus will do too), rinse well with cold water then gently poach in salted boiling water.
2. Checking with a small pointed knife, ensure they are just soft. These can be gently rolled through the pan with the lamb racks until slightly golden, just prior to serving.
For the Wild Garlic
1. Gather a few leaves and a few flowers of wild garlic from any known spots, or alternatively buy from a good vegetable shop. Spring cabbage will work as well. Brush the leaves of garlic with a little oil and season then set aside.
2. Add the flowers and stems to the water with the white asparagus for around 30 seconds until slightly wilted. Set aside.
3. Extra wild garlic can also be blended with olive oil to make a wild garlic oil for the dish.
For the Lamb
1. Season well and place in a hot pan with oil, colour until dark brown but not burnt
2. Place in a low oven wrapped in foil at 120c. Using a temperature probe remove the lamb from the oven when the core temperature is at 52c (this should take around 40-50 minutes) and allow to rest.
1. First cook the lamb, then the potatoes, they can go in the oven together.
2. Next make the cauliflower puree and keep warm.
3. While the lamb and potatoes are in the oven cook the asparagus in the water along with the garlic stems and flowers, add these to the pan the lamb was cooked in for a minute or so and gently colour in the lamb fat.
4. Remove the vegetables and add a little lamb stock to the pan to collect the juices then reduce to create a light sauce, finish with a splash of madeira or red wine.
5. Add the garlic leaves to the oven on a tray for a few minutes and allow them to crisp up.
6. Once the lamb has rested carve off a few cutlets and place on a plate
7. Add the vegetables and jersey royals and finish with a spoonful of the cauliflower puree, a couple of crispy garlic leaves and the sauce.
Chris Rees, Head Chef for The River Room Restaurant at Galgorm Resort and Spa, creates dishes that are true to the ingredients, showcasing local artisan producers with menus that change daily.
His menus are packed with seasonal ingredients sourced from carefully selected local suppliers and the Resorts very own kitchen garden, all imaginatively served to complement an extensive wine list.
Chris is passionate about using local produce and promoting the taste of Northern Ireland. He sources a lot of his produce from the Slemish Market Garden in Ballymena, but also grows a portion of what he needs – including cress and courgettes – in the Resort greenhouse.
The River Room is one of only four restaurants in Northern Ireland to be awarded 3 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence. It embodies the ethos of Galgorm in its menu and dishes, offering a unique and memorable dining experience.