- 2 ounces morel mushrooms, rinsed and quartered
- Clarified butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- Thyme sprig
- 2 ounces wild nettles, blanched and shocked, squeezed dry and roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 to 2 ounces ground lamb
- 1 ounce hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped savory
- 1 ounce bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 rack lamb
- Caul fat, as needed
- Wheat Berry Pilaf, recipe follows
Saute the nettles and the remaining 1/2 clove of garlic in a little clarified butter. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cool. When cooled, mix with the cooled morels. Mix the shallots, ground lamb, hazelnuts, herbs, and bread crumbs in a small bowl. Moisten with the egg until the mixture reaches a spreadable consistency. Chill.
Taste the ground lamb mixture by sauteing a small portion to check for seasonings. Season the rack of lamb and sear until golden brown on all sides in clarified butter. Allow to cool on a rack. On a flat surface lay out a sheet of plastic wrap, on top of the plastic, lay a sheet of the caul fat. Season the lamb rack again with salt and pepper. Spread a 1/4-inch layer of the ground lamb mixture on the caul fat, and place the lamb rack (loin side) on the mixture. Spread a little more of the mixture onto the lamb to provide a nice ring around the caul fat. Wrap the caul completely around the lamb rack, taking care not to tear the caul fat. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat a heavy saute pan and place the rack, saddle-side up, in the pan. Baste the rack with the pan juices. To cook caul fat and cause it to shrink, turn the rack over and place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Rest in a warm area for 10 minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb and allow the meat and ground lamb mixture to secure together. Serve with Wheat Berry Pilaf.
For Wheat Berry Pilaf:
- 1 cup organic wheat berries
- 2 quarts water
- Pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons minced carrots
- 2 tablespoons minced celery
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 1-ounce lamb jus or chicken stock
- Albumen, or powdered egg white, as needed to thicken
- Thyme leaves
24 hours before, cover the wheat berries with cold water and set in refrigerator to absorb liquid.
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large pot, and add the wheat berries. Boil until the wheat berries have softened. Drain and allow to cool, do not rinse with cold water. At serving time, saute 1 tablespoon butter and shallots, carrots, celery and garlic until soft. Add the wheat berries when the aromatics are cooked and saute briefly to coat the berries with the seasonings. Check for salt and pepper. Deglaze with the lamb jus and add the rest of the butter, the albumen and reduce until syrupy. Stir in the thyme leaves and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings