In one of the chicest restaurants in the South of France, Jan Hendrik has become the first South African chef to get that coveted Michelin star… Try his Roast Lamb with Stuffed Pumpkin Flowers.
- 1.2kg shoulder of lamb, deboned
- 12 pumpkin or courgette flowers
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Lamb Filling
- 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 springs fresh rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic
- zest of 2 lemons
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 60g ground almonds
- 5ml lemon juice
- 50g green olives, pitted
- 20ml extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and ground black pepper
- Flower Filling
- 250 g ricotta cheese
- 2 anchovies
- zest of 1 lemon
- 30ml lemon juice
- bunch fresh parsley and mint
- Flower Batter
- 1 egg
- ± 250ml ice-cold sparkling water
- 160g all-purpose flour
- pinch fine salt
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow to reach room temperature. Rinse the herbs and place in a blender with the garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. Blend until mixed (it does not have to be very fine).
- Prepare the crust. Mix the garlic, ground almonds, lemon juice, green olives and 30ml of the herb filling. Add olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Butterfly the leg of lamb if not already done by your butcher, and spread the herb gremolata thickly over the meat. Roll up and tie up with kitchen string. Place in a roasting pan and cover with the crust mixture. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the lamb is cooked but still pink inside. Set aside to rest.
- While the lamb is roasting, mix the ricotta, anchovies, lemon zest and juice, parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully stuff the pumpkin flowers with the mixture and close the ends gently. Mix all the flower batter ingredients with a fork until combined. Add the sparkling water a little at a time so that the batter is of a slightly thinner consistency than that of a pancake batter.
- Warm a medium-sized pot with vegetable oil for deep-frying. Dip the stuffed flowers carefully into the batter and then place in the hot oil. Cook just until the crust turns crisp. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Serve warm with slices of lamb.
This leg of lamb is tender and juicy, with a flavourful herbed crust. We plate it in smaller portions at JAN, but it’s perfect served on a large platter with roast spring vegetables for a gathering of family or friends.
Wine suggestion: Creation Pinot Noir
Recipe from JAN – A Breath of French Air by Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen (Struik Lifestyle)