Header: Clare Smyth and Lamb Carrot (images: Anne-Emmanuelle Thion)
Clare Smyth, winner of the 2018 elit Vodka World’s Best Female Chef Award, shares the recipe for her signature Lamb Carrot dish at Core by Clare Smyth in London’s Notting Hill.
Smyth cooked the dish in a live cooking demonstration at #50BestTalks: Life Cycle, presented by Miele, at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian.
A year ago, she was best known for her role as chef-patron of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, but since opening her award-winning debut restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth, in August 2017 the chef has become associated with her own style of sophisticated cooking using British ingredients.
Smyth didn’t set out to create signature dishes at Core; she says her customers did, and that’s how her Lamb Carrot and the iconic Potato and Roe became the two most popular dishes in the restaurant. Both dishes have one thing in common – they showcase a vegetable as the main ingredient, with meat or fish as a secondary part of the plate, and this is one of Core’s central tenets, to move away from the need to serve a main course that is predominantly protein.
Core is not vegetarian, but the restaurant celebrates simple British vegetables such as the potato and the carrot, elevating them with techniques Smyth learned during her years in restaurants both in the UK and in France.
“We don’t always need luxury ingredients to make a fantastic dish,” says Smyth. “We know we need to eat less meat and fish and eat more vegetables so at Core we take humble ingredients and try to use them to create something just as satisfying as something that is very luxury.”
Core sources carrots from Sussex in the south of England, and the dish uses everything, from the tops of the carrots, which go into a pesto, to the fat of the lamb neck, which is used to confit the additional slices of carrots that serve as garnish.
“Lamb carrot is a dish of habit,” Smyth says. “In the kitchen, we as chefs always steal the best bits of things. For many years, we’ve used vegetables in mirepoix and often the vegetables are discarded, but I would always steal the carrot from the pot because that’s the best bit.
[When I started] serving this dish as the main course on our tasting menu, everyone thought I was crazy. They were used to the way I cooked before, but we stuck to it and it’s amazing how these dishes now have become the signatures and people are the most surprised by them.”
Watch Clare Smyth's full demonstration of Lamb Carrot at #50BestTalks: Life Cycle, then find the recipe below:
LAMB CARROT WITH BRAISED LAMB AND SHEEP'S MILK YOGHURT
Serves: 4 people
Preparation: 1 hour
Cooking: 3 hours
For the lamb carrot neck
750g lamb neck
1g coriander seed toasted
5g pepper corns
½ bay leaf
1.25kg reduced lamb stock
1.25kg reduced veal stock
Salt to taste
For the carrot
4 English bunched carrots with tops
For the carrot top pesto
10g carrot top
6g Barolo vinegar
For the sheep’s milk yoghurt
200ml sheep’s milk yoghurt
For the dressing
1 bunch fennel top
1 bunch carrot top
For the lamb bun
8g Maldon salt
8.5g milk powder
2.5g Voatsiperifery pepper (crushed)
44g olive oil
44g lamb fat
40g large eggs
Lamb carrot neck
Seal the meat, remove from the pan and add all the vegetables that have been diced. Roast them then add spices and herbs, then return the neck, add the stock and cook under pressure for 2 hours.
Allow to cool, remove the neck, pass the sauce then reduce by half then cool.
Take what is needed to cook the carrots in the water bath.
Reserve for the service, pick the neck into small pieces, roughly 2x2cm.
For the service, warm up the neck in a bit of lamb sauce.
Take English bunched carrots, wash well, peel, sand them and wash again then place in the SV bag with the lamb stock, rosemary and garlic.
Cook until tender.
Take baby heritage carrots, peel them to make them round and cut them on a long angle. Place them in seasoned lamb fat to cook until tender.
Carrot top pesto
Chop all the herbs with a very fine knife then pound in a pestle and mortar until smooth. Add the oil and vinegar and finish with salt.
Add dry ingredients to the mixer.
Mix water, yeast, oil and eggs.
Mix all together and beat on speed 4 for 4 minutes, then 3 minutes on speed.
Roll dough into a ball and prove, then knock back and shape into 28g balls to be filled with 10g lamb filling.
Roll and place into a greased baking tray, 6 rolls in each. Allow to prove and double in size.
Cook at 160 degrees, 4 fan for 10 minutes brushed with egg wash, turn the tray for a further brush of egg wash and 10 more minutes baking time.
When cooked, brush the cooked bun with lamb fat and top with crispy lamb fat and crushed Maldon salt.
Reheat the carrot in the braise with the picked lamb neck.
Warm the confit carrot under the salamander.
Place the carrot onto the plate top with lamb neck and then confit carrot, carrot tops and fennel fronds.
Place a dot of yoghurt followed by the pesto and sauce to finish and serve lamb bun on the side.
Discover more about Core by Clare Smyth:
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