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Seared lamb chops with lamb navarin, flageolets and braised celery – by Paul Kahan

11 September 2006

Ingredients (serves eight)

For the lamb navarin
1kg lamb shoulder stew meat, cleaned and cut in 2cm cubes
3tbs sunflower oil
1tbs sugar
2tbs flour
1 bottle red wine
1tsp salt
1tsp freshly ground black pepper
1tsp herbs de Provence
400g tomato concasse
3 cloves garlic, minced
400ml veal stock
1tbs parsley, chopped
1tbs thyme, chopped

For the flageolets 350g flageolets, soaked overnight
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
Bouquet garni
Salt and pepper

For the braised celery 200ml rich chicken or beef stock
1 celery heart, cut into batons
25g unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the lamb rack 2tsp fresh thyme, chopped
2tsp parsley, chopped
2 shallots, minced
2tsp coarsely cracked black pepper
2tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 frenched racks of lamb, approximately 1¼kg each
2tbs sunflower oil
Salt

For the breadcrumbs 5tsp toasted breadcrumbs, preferably from sourdough or peasant bread
2tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Method
Brown the lamb cubes in batches in a little of the oil, then put in a sieve over a bowl to catch the juices. Heat the sunflower oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until just smoking. Add browned lamb cubes and all of the sugar. Cook over high heat until meat is caramelised. Add flour and reduce heat to medium. Cook the flour, stirring often, for about seven minutes.

Add the red wine and reserved lamb juices slowly. Stir constantly to thicken. Add salt, pepper, herbs de Provence, tomatoes and minced garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Add veal stock and simmer for one hour or until meat is tender. Cool, add fresh herbs and refrigerateovernight.

Drain the beans and put in a large stock pot with water to cover by at least one inch. Add garlic and bouquet garni and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook beans for about 45 minutes until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and let the beans cool in the cooking liquid.

For the braised celery, bring stock to the boil, blanch the celery batons and refresh in iced water. Drain well. When ready to serve, warm celery in butter until lightly browned. Season to taste.

To prepare the lamb racks, combine the herbs, shallot, cracked pepper and olive oil in a small bowl, coat racks with the herb mixture and marinade for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 230ºC. In a sauté pan large enough to hold the lamb racks, heat the sunflower oil. Season the racks and brown on both sides, then place pan in preheated oven. Cook lamb until medium rare, turning racks every minute or so for about 10 minutes (an instant-read thermometer should show 57-60ºC). Remove from oven and rest on cooling rack for three to five minutes. Discardthe oil but reserve the pan.

Heat the lamb navarin in the pan used for the lamb racks. Start to reduce the liquid then add the cooked beans and reduce until almost dry. Pack navarin into a 75mm x 4mm ring mould (one per serving) and top with a light but even coating of breadcrumbs, mixed with olive oil and seasoning.

Toast the crumbs under a preheated broiler or with a torch. Cut lamb racks into eight double chops and place a chop next to each moulded "navarin". Garnish each plate with the braised celery and drizzle with any remaining juices from the navarin.

Paul Kahan

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