The excellent Matt Gillan of Heritage Restaurant takes the helm for the next instalment of our Chef Series.
An industry legend and chef of more than two decades, with numerous projects under his belt, Matt won a Michelin Star for The Pass at South Lodge, is a Great British Menu stalwart and Sussex favourite.
In 2019 Gillan took over a village pub in Slaugham, near Hayward's heath, to build Heritage, his first solo project, which has fast become synonymous with imaginative and perfectly executed food. His recipe here for Lamp Rump, Spiced cous cous and Asparagus is accessible and quick to assemble for a spring-summer stunner.
Ingredients (picture 1, below)
4 Lamb rump portions
250 cous cous
6g (¾ teaspoon ) Ras el hanout
4g ( ½ tsp) table salt
8g ( 1tsp ) powdered chicken stock
2g ( ¼ tsp) Dried garlic granules
2g ( ¼ tsp) dried herbs
350g boiling water
1 Yellow pepper
1 Red pepper
1 onion (peeled)
125g button mushrooms
150g pancetta (or smoked bacon, lardons)
16 Asparagus spears
Maldon salt (or any sea salt flakes)
Oil to cook with (sunflower or light olive oil)
Score the lamb rump fat and leave aside to come up to room-ish temperature. (pic 2)
For the cous cous
In a bowl, mix the cous cous, ras el hanout, chicken stock, garlic and herbs. Pour into a flat, shallow dish so you have an even thin layer
Have some cling film to hand. Boil the kettle. Once boiled weigh out the water and pour evenly over the cous cous. (pic 3)
Cling film the tray straight away. Leave to steam and cool down. Once cooled, use a fork to fluff the cous cous by dragging the progs across the cous cous surface, until it has all separated. (pic 4)
This can be done well in advance.
For the veg mix
Dice the peppers and onions as finely or chunky as you want. Personally, I find smaller works better. (pic 5)
Half or quarter the mushrooms depending on size.
Dice the pancetta or bacon. (pic 6)
Heat a large based saucepan with a little oil. Add the bacon and fry.
Once coloured, add the onion, cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms
Allow any liquid that comes out to reduce down and continue to fry everything
Add the peppers, mix well and cook out for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Leave to cool until needed. (Pic 7)
When ready heat the vegetable and bacon mix, Add the cous cous and fold and stir it into the veg. This will keep it light and fluffy. Do this last minute though!!
For the Lamb
Have your oven preheated to 200c. Heat a frying pan large enough for the lamb rumps until hot. Season the fat with Maldon salt and place fat down in the pan. Do not add any oil.
Turn the heat down slightly and fry the lamb until caramelised. The solid fat should have turned to liquid (rendered).
Turn over a sear the flesh sides for a minute or two. Flip back over on to the fat side and put in to the oven. (Pic 8)
Cook for 12 minutes
Remove from the oven and place the lamb in tin foil and wrap up. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
(DO NOT WASH THE PAN JUST YET)
For the asparagus
Find the woody part of the asparagus and cut through. Peel the asparagus. (Pic 9)
Cover with a damp cloth until the lamb is cooked
Once the lamb is out of the pan, pour some water in to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Season and add some butter
Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute
Heat the cous cous and veg mix and spoon into a bowl. Slice the lamb and place onto. Finish with the asparagus on top.
If you wish, you can add the juice in the tin foil to the lamb pan and thicken it slightly with corn flour for a super simple sauce.