Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Wild Porcini Demi-Glace

Gorgeous, pastured lamb from Menzie’s Farm in the Hill Country outside of Austin is misted with Texas olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper, then flashed in a 500 degree oven for 10 minutes.

The lamb is then packed with a persillade-like mixture of fresh bread crumbs, melted butter and garlic with a bouquet garni of both fresh and dried herbs including rosemary, thyme, savory, marjoram, sage and tarragon.

Next, the lamb is roasted at 400 degrees until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (approximately 15-20 minutes), then removed from the oven and allowed to stand 15 minutes before being carved into double chops.

While the lamb rests, dried wild porcini mushrooms are soaked in just-boiled water enhanced with porcini powder, then strained into a pot containing brown stock and toasted shallots. The sauce is furiously reduced by a third and the mushrooms added and simmered for a couple of minutes before being finished with a spoonful of demi-glace and a knob of cold butter.

Served a perfect medium rare, this is one of my all-time favorite things to eat..

American lamb, especially those that are pastured and grass-fed, are generally milder/less gamey in flavor than those from New Zealand and Australia, with young lamb (less than 1 year old) being preferred for its tenderness.

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Wild Halibut en Persillade

Thick-cut wild Alaskan halibut with a light coating of homemade coarse mustard and a persillade of chopped parsley and bread crumbs..

Wild Halibut en Persillade

Wild Halibut en Persillade

Serves 2  (adapted from a recipe by Thomas Keller)

2 6-oz fillets fresh Wild Alaskan Halibut
1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon homemade coarse mustard
1 teaspoon filtered water
pastured butter
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper

Trim crusts from bread and pulse in a food processor.  Bake bread crumbs in a 250 degree oven, tossing occasionally until completely dry, about 1 hour.  Toss with finely chopped parsley and set aside.

Rinse fish fillets and pat dry.  Season on both sides with  salt and pepper.  Brush one side of each fillet with a thin coating of thinned mustard, then dip the mustard side of the fish into the bread crumbs, pressing lightly to form an even coating.

Heat butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat, then place the fillets crumb side down into the pan and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute.

Carefully turn fish over, then place pan into a 350 degree oven just until the fish begins to flake, about 6-8 minutes.

Arrange fish on a plate, then drizzle with a little of the browned butter from the skillet and give it a squeeze of fresh lemon.  Delicious with Nantes Carrot Stew on the side.


This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!

Seared Halibut, Grilled Green Beans and Fried Mushrooms

Fresh Alaskan Halibut, organic green beans and dried exotic mushrooms

Marinate the beans in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Make bread crumbs to top the fish.  I’m using a leftover wheat bun pulsed with a little dried parsley.

Rehydrate the mushrooms in hot water with a tablespoon or so of soy sauce. Prepare two plates of seasoned rice flour, beat the egg with a little water.

Dress the fish with olive oil, fresh ginger, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Sear the fish in a heavy skillet until nicely colored on both sides, top with bread crumbs and put the pan into a hot oven to finish.

While the fish is cooking, start the mushrooms.  Dust in flour, dip into egg wash and then back into the flour.  Drop into hot oil.  Get those beans going- they should cook until they begin to brown and shrivel a bit.

Drain the mushrooms on a brown paper bag then assemble the plate.

Rating  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦