Lamb and pickled cucumber

Ashley Palmer-Watts

Ashley Palmer-Watts

9th August 2016
Ashley Palmer-Watts

Lamb and pickled cucumber

Lamb recipes tend to be exceptionally varied, with meals that offer classic comfort food as well as dishes that boast a more delicate, refined flavour. Take a look at the Lamb and pickled cucumber recipe below as tried and tested by our professional chefs.


  • Cucumber Gel (Lamb):
  • Cucumber juice must be fresh, or the gel will turn brown quickly.
  • 20 Cucumbers
  • To make the cucumber gel:
  • 1400g Cucumber juice
  • 220g Chardonnay vinegar
  • 56g Billington's sugar
  • 19g Gellan F
  • 14g Salt
  • To finish the cucumber gel:
  • Note: before finishing the ketchup check the consistency of the cucumber fluid gel with a sous chef.
  • 1600g 1x cucumber gel base (as per above recipe)
  • 10g Dill, finely chopped
  • Lamb Sauce:
  • 3500g Reduced lamb stock
  • 300g Lamb fat
  • 40g Rosemary, picked
  • 30g Thyme
  • 5g Black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 20g Cabernet sauvignon vinegar
  • Lamb Stock:
  • 40kg Lamb bones, chopped
  • 20kg Lamb shoulder, diced
  • 7500g Onions, sliced
  • 7500g Carrots, sliced
  • 190g Garlic, sliced
  • 75g Star anise
  • 75g Rosemary
  • 55g Thyme
  • 2800g Lamb fat
  • 60litres Cold water
  • Lamb Sweetbreads:
  • 1000g Lamb sweetbreads
  • 500g 10% Herb brine
  • Coating
  • 200g Cooked Panko breadcrumbs (lightly crushed by hand)
  • 100g Pasteurised egg whites
  • 300g Plain flour (sieved)
  • Pickled Cucumber:
  • 8 Cucumbers
  • 800g Cucumber Pickle
  • Short Saddle - Loin of Lamb:
  • Our spec from Aubrey Allen is a Short Saddle of lamb on the bone - 2200g - 2500g.
  • 1 Short saddle of lamb
  • Smoked Lamb & Mint Oil:
  • 4000g Lamb belly, de-boned
  • 5000g Lamb bones
  • 2000g Lamb fat
  • 30g Apple wood chips
  • To finish the oil
  • 500g Rendered roast lamb fat
  • 120g Picked mint leaves
  • 1000g Minced smoked lamb belly


Cucumber Gel (Lamb):
1. Cut the cucumbers into 8cm lengths across the cucumbers then trim off the edges to square them
2. Slice the cucumber around the heart.
3. Place the cucumber hearts into a vac pac bag and sous vide on program 1.
4. Pierce the bag and repeat this process once more.
5. Store the compressed cucumber hearts in the fridge until required for service.
To make the cucumber gel:
1. Juice the cucumber off cuts and pass the juice through a super bag.
2. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small pan, bring to the boil then set aside to cool.
3. Place the passed cucumber juice and salt into the Thermomix and bring to 85°C on speed 3.
4. Add the gellan and blitz for 10 seconds, stop the Thermomix lift the lid and scrape the sides and
blade of the jug. Continue to blitz for a further 2 minutes on speed 8 to fully incorporate.
5. Pour the mixture into a deep gastro and cool over an ice bath.
6. Allow the gel to set completely in one even layer.
7. Once set turn the gel over in the gastro tray to ensure it is completely cool.
8. Once fully cooled and set, place the gel along with the vinegar and dissolved sugar into the
Thermomix and blitz on speed 8 for 2 minutes, stop the Thermomix lift the lid and scrape the
sides of the jug. Then continue to blitz for 1 minute more.
9. Place the fluid gel into a shallow container and into the vac pac machine, set on program 1. Close
the lid and allow the fluid gel to rise to the top of the container then press stop. Repeat this
process until the fluid gel no longer bubbles.
10. Pass through a fine sieve and refrigerate until required.
To finish the cucumber gel:
1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and stir.
2. Divide the finished cucumber ketchup into 4 and place into vac pac bags and sous vide on program
3. Refridgerate until required.
Lamb Sauce:
1. Heat the reduced lamb stock to 80°C.
2. Add the lamb fat, whisk until melted and well emulsified.
3. Add the thyme, cover the pan and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
4. Add the rosemary, cover the pan and leave to infuse for a further 10 minutes.
5. Add the cabernet sauvignon vinegar, stir to emulsify.
6. Add the crushed black peppercorns and infuse for 2 minutes.
7. Pass the finished sauce through a super bag.
8. Check the balance of the sauce.
9. Blast chill and refrigerate until required.
Lamb Stock:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 0% humidity, full fan.
2. Place the lamb bones into the roasting tray in a single layer and roast until they are golden in
colour, this will take about 1 hour.
3. Set the brat pan to fry mode, once the plate reaches 240ºC add 1400g of lamb fat and once this
has fully melted add the diced lamb shoulder, do this in two batches.
4. Evenly colour the meat so it is light brown then remove from the pan and set aside.
5. Heat the remaining 1400g of lamb fat in the pressure cooker then add the onions and star anise,
sweat without colour and once they are soft add the carrots.
6. Once the carrots are soft add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.
7. Add the roasted lamb bones and caramelized lamb shoulder, deglaze the roasting tray, add these
juices followed by the cold water.
8. Bring to a simmer, skim off any impurities then add the rosemary and thyme.
9. Secure the lid and cook on full pressure for 2 hours.
10. Once the pressure cooker has depressurized pass the stock through a fine sieve, followed by a
super bag.
11. Blast chill the stock in deep gastro trays.
12. Remove the fat, reduce the stock to 3/3.5 litres as quickly as possible, skimming off any scum and
impurities as and when necessary.
13. Blast chill, refrigerate until required.
Lamb Sweetbreads:
For the sweetbreads:
1. Set a waterbath to 63°c.
2. Rinse the lamb sweetbreads in cold water then trim off any excess fat.
3. To brine the sweetbreads place the sweet breads into a large vac pac bag and add the brine.
Sous vide on program 1 and refridgerate.
4. Brine the sweetbreads for 1 hour.
5. Once brined remove the sweetbreads from the bag and rinse the sweetbreads for 30 minutes
under cold running water.
6. Once rinsed pat the sweetbreads dry using blue J-cloths.
7. Weigh the sweetbreads into 500g large boilable vac pac bags.
8. Sous vide on program 1, ensuring they are all laying flat and in a single layer.
9. Cook the sweetbreads in the water bath set to 63°c for 1½ hours.
10. Once cooked cool the bag in iced water.
11. Once cooled pick the sweet breads by removine any excess sinew, cartilage and fat.
12. Cut them into equal sized pieces weighing 8-10g.
13. Reserve the portioned sweetbreads for coating.
For the coating: Pre heat the rational oven at 180oc 0% humidity
1. Place a thin layer of Panko breadcrumbs on a dry gastranom tray.
2. Place into a preheated oven at 180oc 0% humidity.
3. bake for 20 mins turning every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking.
4. Once cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool down at room temerature.
5. The cooked Panko has a 5 day shelf life.
6. Roll the cooked sweetbreads in the flour and dust off any excess.
7. Roll the sweetbreads in the pasteurised egg whites and drain off any excess.
8. Roll the sweetbreads through the crushed breadcrumb mixture and gently press into the sides of
the sweetbreads.
9. Place on absorbent paper and set aside in the fridge until required.
To cook the sweetbreads:
1. Fill the small portable deep fat fryer with grapeseed oil pre-heat to 180°c.
2. Gently lower the coated sweetbreads into the oil.
3. Fry them until they float and they are golden in colour.
4. Remove the sweetbreads from the oil onto a metal tray lined with a c-fold using a slotted spoon.
5. Season with Caper and Anchovie salt and serve.
Pickled Cucumber:
Reserve any cucumber trimmings to use to make the cucumber fluid gel.
1. Cut the cucumbers into 10cm lengthways, 4cm width and 2cm height pieces.
2. Ensure there is no skin or round corners on any of the cucmber pieces.
3. Take 4 medium sized vac pac bags. Place 8 cucumber pices into each bag, ensuring they are laying
4. Sous vide on program 1, pierce the bag and repeat this process once more.
5. Open the vac pac bags and and add 200g of pickling liquid to each bag.
6. Reseal the bag on program 1.
7. Store the compressed cucumber hearts in the fridge for 12 hours before they are served.
Short Saddle - Loin of Lamb:
Please see prep photos to get a visual on the specification.
1. Remove the two loins from the short saddle.
2. Cut off the two belly flaps and set aside.
3. Chop the bones into 4cm size pieces and reserve for making lamb stock.
4. Using a sharp / flexible filleting knife remove the skin from the two loins of lamb.
5. Using the tip of the knife very gently cut between the fat and the sinew and remove the the fat
cap from the two loins of lamb. (It's essential to keep the fat caps in a whole piece and as in tact
as possible).
6. Using A sharp / flexible knife remove the silver skin sinew from each of the loins of lamb. Discard
of the sinew.
7. Ensure you have the correct loins matched up with the correct fat caps. Glue the fat to the loins.
8. Lightly dust both the top side of the lamb loins and the underside of the fat cap with activa -
9. Tap off any excess meat glue powder and attach the fat cap back to the loin of lamb.
10. Press together and apply a little pressure to enable the fat to be fully in contact with the loin of
11. Gently cling film each glued loin of lamb ensuring not to wrap then too tightly which may allow an
air bubble to set under the skin.
12. Place the cling filmed loins of lamb into the fridge for 4 hours to allow the glue to fully bind the
loin to the fat cap.
13. After 4 hours and the fat cap has completely adhered to the loin cut the loins of lamb in half
across the loins. (Each loin of lamb then becomes 2 portions). Each portion should weigh 110g -
14. Place each portion of lamb into in to a small vac ac bag anlog with 10g of sunflower oil. Vac Pac
on program 1.
15. set aside in the fridge until required for service.
Short saddle - loin of lamb - Cooking
Set a water bath to 60°C.
1. Cook the loin of lamb in the 60°C water bath until internal temperature achieves 54°C, approximately
30 minutes depending on size.
2. Allow the cooked loin to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
3. Remove from the bag and pat the fat cap dry with a c-fold.
4. Sear the fat of the loin on the Josper plate or the plancha until lcaramelised and light brownin colour
5. Season both sides of the loin of lamb with fine salt & cracked black pepper.
6. Trim off both ends of the lamb loin. Evenly slice the loin of lamb into 3 slices.
7. Season the seared fat with Maldon salt.
8. Place the seasoned slices of lamb loin onto a metal tray. Serve.
9. Serving temperature 54°C.
Note: Serving temperature 54°c (medium/rare)
Smoked Lamb & Mint Oil:
To smoke the lamb belly
1. Soak the wood chips for 1 hour and drain.
2. Place the lamb belly in the mincer with the large attachment and mince.
3. Place the minced lamb on a shallow gastronorm tray and place in the smoker.
4. Fill the smoke box with apple wood chips.
5. Fill a tray with ice and place in the smoker over the smoke box.
6. Close the door and smoke for 30 minutes.
7. Refresh the wood chips and smoke the lamb mince again for 30 minutes.
8. Remove the tray from the smoker and place in the blast chiller to cool.
9. Once cool remove from the blast chiller and reserve, covered, in the refrigerator until needed.
To render the lamb fat
1. Preheat an oven to 140°C, full fan, 0% humidity.
2. Place the lamb bones on an oven tray.
3. Cut the lamb fat into 2cm dice and place into the tray with the lamb bones, make sure they are
evenly distributed.
4. Place the tray in the oven.
5. Roast the bones for 1 hour and 30 minutes and remove from the oven.
6. Strain the fat off the roasted bones and pass through a fine sieve.
7. Discard the bones.
8. Place the rendered fat into the blast chiller until cool.
9. Once cool, reserve in the refrigerator until needed.
To finish the oil
1. Pre-heat a water bath to 95°C.
2. Place smoked minced smoked lamb belly into a medium boilable vac pac bag along with the
rendered lamb fat.
3. Sous vide on program 1.
4. Place the bag in the water bath and cook for 4 hours.
5. Remove the bag form the water bath and place into an ice bath to cool to 50°C.
6. Once the fat has reached 50°C, open the bag and pour into a new bag.
7. Place the mint into the bag with the mince and fat. Seal on program 1.
8. Place in the fridge and leave to infuse for 12 hours.
9. After 12 hours remove the mint infused smoked oil from the chiller and temper slightly.
10. Pass the oil through a fine sieve followed by a super bag.
11. Place the mint infused smoked lamb oil into 100g sous vide bags.
12. Seal on program 1.
13. Place into the fridge until required for service.

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