Leiths week 6 - pistachio crusted rack of lamb, boulangere potatoes & a chocolate fondant

Wednesday 2 November 2011

This week was my last week at Leiths cookery school (sob) and most probably the most challenging week of the whole course. We were presented with a rack of lamb, complete with chine bone and shown how to remove the fat, the rubbery piece of tendon called the paddywack (no joke, this is actually what it's called - amazing) and how to scrape the bones clean. A pretty gruesome job... but it was Halloween so it seemed apt.

Once clean, naked and beautiful, the lamb was coated with a crust of ground pistachios, butter and thyme (very liberal amounts of butter were used in my case) and left to set in the fridge. In the meantime we made boulangere potatoes - thinly sliced potato and onion, layered covered in white stock (made from chicken and veal bones) and yet more butter and cooked for 2 hours. The recipe (in the Leiths Bible) stated to cook the lamb for half an hour... this seemed excessive so mine was cooked for 15 minutes and was still very pink inside (I do like it practically bleating...)

The final dessert of my Leiths adventure was a classic chocolate fondant. Really simple to make, these little chocolate pots of amazingness cannot fail to impress. Sadly I got melted chocolate (and butter) all over my recipe in the class and hoped it would be in my Leiths technique bible at home so I could share it with you... sadly it's not - I will try to be less messy in future...

The melt-in-the-middle chocolate fondants were served, warm from the oven, with a raspberry coulis (with added zing from the zest and juice of a lime) and obligatory cream

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