“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ~Confucius
Maybe the saying shouldn’t be that we make it complicated, but that we think it is. Gourmet food is in the eye of the beholder, whether from the premium ingredients within or the intricate processes required to make it. But just because gourmet food looks more complicated doesn’t mean it’s unapproachable for the average cook at home.
As a chef, the main task in my hands is the pairing of flavors, plain and simple: What goes well with what? That’s the question I ask myself, every day. Take a few simple, strong flavors, blend them together, you’ve got a dish. Use natural, fresh ingredients, you have a better dish.
The physical process, the manipulation of proteins and vegetables – that can look complicated. But transforming them from their rough, raw states into things of beauty is easier than you think, and it’ll take your better dish to a fantastic one.
Whenever I sit down to create a new recipe, the focus is flavor. When I created this Colorado Lamb dish last summer, the key idea in my mind was building the other flavors around the lamb. The execution of the dish might be complicated, but the flavors? Not by a long shot. The dish is dominated by simple, core flavor concepts: fruit (from the fresh apple and dried apricot), herbal (from the crushed mint in the filling) and the raw, natural gaminess of the lamb (the best part). These three simple flavors drive the entire affair.
Once you knock out the flavors of your dish, what’s left? The physical preparation? …and that’s the easy part. Don’t let the look of a rack of lamb scare you off: anyone can do it. Not only that, you can do it in no time at all; half an hour, tops. You’ll have an amazing meal to impress friends and family, and you’ll see how simple gourmet cooking really is.
And remember, in addition to trying this for yourself in your own kitchen, I will be offering this dish in The Cliff House dining room this weekend only! Utter the “secret phrase” at the end of this episode for an exculsive 15% discount only for viewers of “The Savage Kitchen”.
And if you love the dish, or if you have any questions, don’t forget to comment and most importantly: please, share it! Also, you can subscribe to our RSS feed for our latest videos, posts, and recipes.
- Stuffed with Apricots, Fuji Apple and Fresh Mint
- Rissolée potatoes, Sautéed Spinach
- Balsamic reduction
- Serves 4
- 2 8 Bone Frenched racks of lamb
- 1lb Dried apricots
- 2ea Fuji apples
- 10 Mint leaves
- 2ea Russet potatoes
- 2lb Fresh spinach
- 4c Balsamic vinegar
- 1/2c Sugar
- Salt and pepper
- Clean silver skin from lamb and cut into 4 bone racks. Season the lamb with salt & pepper. Sear in skillet and let cool.
- In a food processor blend apricot, peeled and cored apple with mint. Place in a piping bag.
- Take cooled lamb and cut a slit through the center of the loin. Take piping bag and place the tip into the slit in the lamb and fill with stuffing. Don’t over stuff because when you finish cooking the lamb the meat will shrink and squeeze out the stuffing.
- Wrap bones with aluminum foil to keep from burning.
- Cook lamb in a 350 degree over for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Peel potatoes. Use a Parisienne scoop to shape the potatoes into small balls.
- Simmer the potatoes in salted water until the potatoes are tender but not fully cooked.
- Drain the potatoes.
- Place the potatoes in a sauté pan and sauté with butter over high heat till potatoes turn golden brown.
- Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.
In a large sauté pan cook spinach in butter till wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place Vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan and cook over low heat till small bubbles appear about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Pull from heat and place in small soup cup till needed.
Place spinach in center of plate. Cut lamb in half and place over spinach, locking bones together. Place potatoes around the outside of plate. Drizzle Reduction over the lamb.
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