Cured, pulled lamb with cauliflower soup
Soup and bread is a perfect combination. The cauliflower season has started and all of the sudden there is local, big heads of cauliflower for sale. I had some friends coming over and thought it would make a nice starter.
Going home with my newly acquired cauliflower I stopped by the butcher and I saw a breast of lamb, also called lamb belly.
Lamb belly is a very cheap and very rich part of the lamb. It takes a bit of cooking but the flavours your get are amazing. I read a recipe by Gordon Ramsay that looked interesting where he stuffed, rolled and slow cooked it. One lambs belly is enough for four people. I haven’t made it as I am wondering if it might be too rich but one day I know I will.
My favourite way to cook lamb belly is to cure it,pull the meat and make lamb crackling. I thought this would go with the smooth cauliflower. I have done it before and this time I did a few minor changes, here is the original recipe.
Pulled lamb with lamb crackling
preparation time 5 minutes
cooking time 3 1/2 hours + about 15 minutes
oven 120C or 250F
serves 6 as a starter
- 1 lamb belly
- 1 dl or 1/2 cup of demerara sugar
- 1 dl or 1/2 cup of salt
- 6 fresh or 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 dried chillies
Cut the lamb belly in to 6 chunky slices. Mix the curing ingredients.
Make sure the curing ingredients are mixed and cover the lamb belly slices.
Let the lambs belly cure over night, place it on a plate with a weight on top.
Rinse the lambs belly before placing in on an oven tray, skin up, and roast for 3-31/2 hours.
Once the lamb is cooked let it cool a little before separating the skin from the rest of the meat. Scrape off as much fat as you can and pat dry with kitchen tissue. Pull the meat apart.
Slice the skin and place it back on the oven tray. Turn the heat up and cook the skin until it is crispy.
Whilst the lamb crackling is cooking make the cauliflower soup. I would normally use chicken stock but I wanted it to be vegetarian and let the cauliflower flavour come through so I used a little cream and thinned the soup slightly with water.
preparation time time 5 minutes
cooking time 10 minutes
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut up in chunks
- 1 dl or 1/2 cup of cream
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup water
- truffle salt and white pepper to taste.
Place the cauliflower in a steamer and steam until just cooked soft. Place the cauliflower in a blender and mix with the cream until smooth. Add water, a little at the time. Place the smooth cauliflower in a pan and thin with water until you have the desired consistency. Taste with truffle salt and white pepper. I kept the soup quite thick.
Cured, pulled lamb salad on toast
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 0 minutes
- 1/4 of the pulled lamb
- 1 1/4 slice of cubed watermelon
- 1 small handful of shelled broad beans
- 1 spring onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- a pinch of sea salt
- edible flower petals for garnish (optional)
Double shell the broad beans and mix all of the ingredients, Drizzle over the oil, the lemon juice and sprinkle with sea salt before mixing.
Spoon up the lamb salad on toast and serve with cauliflower soup.
Cauliflower has a wonderful and creamy consistency when blended. It would have been delicious with some cheese in but I didn’t want too many flavours with the cured lamb. The salad added a nice texture and it was a great starter.