About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, September 13, 2010
Spring Lamb with Morels & Asparagus

What a difference drought breaking rains make. The morel harvest has suffered considerably in Victoria due to the prolonged dry spell, but this year has seen a bumper crop. However, even in abundance they're not cheap, reflecting their general scarcity and short season of only a few weeks.

It's been more than ten years since it was possible to fill more than one basket and makes for a very happy mushroom picker. We like to have them fresh and what we can't consume straight away, we preserve by either freezing or drying. Frozen morels resemble fresh more closely in texture whilst dried have a more intense flavour.

Happily, morel season coincides with the start of not just the asparagus season, but also that of tender melt-in-the-mouth spring lamb. All one needs is a glass of shiraz for the perfect meal.

Spring Lamb with Morels & Asparagus

1 leg or shoulder of new season spring lamb
25g unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
100g fresh morels, cut in half*
1 wineglass white wine
250ml homemade chicken stock
3 sprigs fresh thyme
150ml double cream
1 teaspoon cornflour, slaked in a tablespoon of water
6 spears of asparagus, cut in sections
salt & fresh ground pepper

Roast the leg or shoulder of lamb in your usual way.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a frypan and gently sweat the shallots and garlic. When soft, raise the heat, add the morels and fry until all the moisture is gone and the morels are gently coloured. Deglaze the frypan with the white wine and boil until nearly all gone, then add the chicken stock, fresh thyme, double cream and slaked cornflour. Bring back to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until nicely thickened, Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Keep warm.

When the roast is ready, remove from the oven and rest for about 20 minutes. Add any juices that collect to the sauce. Bring the sauce back to the simmer, add the asparagus pieces and gently cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Discard the thyme stalks.

Carve the lamb and serve with the sauce and a choice of vegetables.

*it's a good idea to cut morels in half as all sorts of little critters like to make the hollow centre of the mushroom a home.
  posted at 8:37 pm


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