There are two types of lamb fillets you can buy. One is from the loin and can be fairly expensive, the other is what we call pencil Neck fillets and are much more economical and yet very tender. In this case I used Loin fillets because the butcher cut me a great deal otherwise I would have used the pencil fillets. If you use the pencil fillets you will need to serve 2 per portion.
I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to show you a dish with a puree of cauliflower. Whenever you puree a fairly wet non-starchy vegetable it helps if you have a little mashed potato to blend into it and keep it together.
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
2x150g(6oz) lamb fillets
200g (8oz) peeled baking potatoes
250g (10oz) cauliflower
1 level Tbsp wholegrain mustard
300ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock
1 tsp tomato puree
25g (1oz) plain flour
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
125ml red wine
1 medium peeled carrot
1 small peeled onion
2 tsp olive oil
1 small sprig of thyme
- Chop the carrot and onion into a small dice and brown slowly in a non-stick saucepan with 1 tsp of olive oil.
- Once browned, add the butter and flour and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they too have gone brown.
- Gradually stir in the stock, wine, tomato puree, thyme and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes.
- Strain the sauce to remove the vegetables and add half of the grain mustard. Reduce the sauce down until you have a nice consistency and around 200ml in liquid.
- Cut up the potatoes and cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Put them into a saucepan, cover with cold water and put them on the hob. *Please note it is because I’m cooking with the potato and cauliflower together that I am starting them off in cold water.
- Add salt to the water once it is boiling and cook until tender.
- Drain and return to the stove, stir occasionally to help dry out the moisture for a couple of minutes.
- Mash the mixture well, adding the remaining mustard. Check for seasoning and keep warm.
- Preheat the oven to 180eC/350QF/gas mark 4.
- Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and keep warm.
- Heat up a non-stick frying pan and brown the fillets quickly in 1 tsp of olive oil.
- Transfer the fillets to the middle shelf and cook for a further six to eight minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Use a three-inch pastry cutter and place it in the centre of a hot dinner plate.
Fill to the top with the cauliflower puree and make the top level, then carefully remove the pastry cutter. Slice the fillets and arrange on top of the cauliflower, and carefully drizzle the sauce around the plate and small amount over it.
Making a good sauce at home is harder than in a professional kitchen where we are constantly making sauces. For this recipe, I froze some of the pan juices from a lamb joint I’d cooked previously and added them to the sauce for extra flavour. Baby spinach and green beans would also go well with this dish. As you can see from the photo I used a little of the green cauliflower stem as a finishing touch that also added some colour.