Sous vide Scotch Lamb fillet with raisin and shallot stuffing
2 Lamb PGI neck fillets (total weight 500g) trimmed of excess fat and any sinew
2 anchovy fillets pulverised in a mortar and pestle with
1 clove of garlic, chopped
100 g raisins
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
3 tbsp chopped parsley
25 g unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped walnuts (or hazelnuts)
1 Beaten egg
FOR THE ORANGE JUS
A knob of butter
1 dessertspoon light olive oil
Juice of an orange
This Sous vide Scotch Lamb fillet with raisin and shallot stuffing is a delicious way to cook Scotch Lamb.
Sous vide, or “under pressure” cooking is a simple method of cooking food submerged in a water bath, vacuum sealed in special bags. It is particularly good for tenderising tougher cuts of meat without over or undercooking them. But while the cooking method is simple, food hygiene rules must be adhered to. Food is cooked at much lower temperatures therefore must be cooked for longer times in order to kill common but very harmful bacteria present, mostly, on the surface of meat.
There is much on the internet to read about sous vide cookery and plenty of good books, and there are apps available for your smart phone or tablet which will calculate precise cooking temperatures and cooking times with the barest of input from you as to the type of food, thickness etc.
tO MAKE THE STUFFING
Put the raisins in a small bowl to soak with the orange juice and rind.
Make a paste with the garlic and anchovy fillets.
Tip the breadcrumbs and parsley into a mixing bowl.
Melt the butter in a shallow pan and soften the shallots for about 8-10 minutes over a low heat, add the nuts and some freshly ground black pepper (shouldn’t need salt, the anchovies will take care of that), then add to the crumbs and mix well. Add the raisins and juice and rind, mix together the stir in the egg, or some of it, to bind the stuffing.
STUFF THE LAMB FILLET
Make a pocket in the lamb fillets, with a very sharp knife insert the blade 2cm from one end of a fillet through almost to the other side and slit down towards the other end of the fillet making a cavity for the stuffing open on one long side. Repeat with the second fillet.
Make some very shallow slashes on the outside surfaces of the lamb and rub the anchovy paste into the cuts and all over the meat. Divide the stuffing mixture between the two lamb pockets and secure closed with cocktail sticks before tying with butchers string, every 2-3 cm in order to contain all the stuffing, into two neat, long rolls.
Seal both pieces of lamb, as far apart as possible, in a large, new sous vide bag, exclude all air, seal, and cook at 60°C for 1 1/2 hrs
Remove the stuffed lamb rolls from the bag (reserve any cooking juices), pat well dry with kitchen paper and brown them evenly in some hot melted butter and oil in a large sauté pan for a couple of minutes, turning the meat as you go.Trim the skinny ends from the fillets (cooks perks!). Cover and keep warm while you make the jus.
Add any meat juices to the pan with the orange juice and bubble till syrupy. Check the seasoning.
Cut each fillet of lamb into 8 thick slice, divide between 4 warm dinner plates, cut side up, and spoon the orange jus over the sliced lamb, and serve with a jumble of Fine French beans, freshly podded peas, broad beans, young asparagus tips, mange touts tossed with butter and a few tiny lightly crushed mint leaves.