This is more than just a simple broth – deep-fried sweetbreads, crisp strips of lamb breast and lamb fillet in a rich lamb broth served with cucumber pickle.
2 lamb breasts, trimmed and deboned (you can get your butcher to do this)
4kg/8lb 13oz lamb bones (you can ask your butcher for these)
8 litres/14 pints brown chicken stock
500g/1lb 2oz lamb sweetbreads, trimmed
2 litres/3½ pints chicken stock
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
cornflour, for dusting
bunch fresh thyme
4 bunches baby turnips
500g/1lb 2oz broad beans
1 free-range egg, beaten for egg wash
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 lamb fillets, thinly sliced
4 green chillies, seeds removed, diced
4 bunches spring onions, sliced
bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
For the puff pastry, mix the flour, melted butter, salt and cold water together to form a paste. Chill in the fridge for two hours.
Grate the lamb fat and butter together in a bowl.
Roll the paste out on a floured work surface into a large rectangle, then spread with the lamb fat mixture. Fold one-third of the dough to the centre and fold the other third over that, then rotate the pastry a quarter-turn. Repeat the rolling, folding and turning process two more times. Leave to chill in the fridge for 24 hours.
For the lamb broth, place the lamb breasts between two sheets of cling film and flatten with a rolling pin. Wrap the lamb breasts in the cling film and freeze for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Roast the lamb bones for 40 minutes, or until golden-brown. Place them into a large saucepan with the chicken stock, bring to the boil and skim any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for about four hours or until the volume of the liquid has reduced by one-third.
Strain the stock through muslin and chill overnight. Scoop off any fat that sets on the surface.
Bring 750ml/1¼ pints of the stock to the boil (set aside the remaining stock), add the sweetbreads and remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool completely. Remove the sweetbreads and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Cut the sweetbreads into large dice.
Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan. The oil is ready when a breadcrumb dropped into it will sizzle gently. (CAUTION: Hot oil can be very dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
Sprinkle some cornflour onto a plate, coat the sweetbreads in the cornflour and deep-fry for 5-6 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.
Preheat the oven to 110C/225F/Gas ¼.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the lamb shanks until browned all over.
Pour the remaining chicken stock into an ovenproof pan and place into the oven to preheat. Place the lamb shanks and the thyme into the stock and braise in the oven for three hours.
Remove the shanks from the stock, set aside to cool slightly and flake off the meat. Set aside to cool completely.
Blanch the turnips for one minute in a pan of boiling water, then peel.
Blanch the broad beans for one minute in boiling water, then remove the outer skin.
Place the turnips, flaked lamb shanks and 600g/1lb 5oz of the stock used to braise the lamb into a large soup terrine.
Roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface into a circle that fits over the top of the tureen.
Brush the edge of the tureen with the egg wash and cover with the puff pastry, trim off any excess and brush the top with egg wash. Set aside for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
Bake the tureen for 30-40 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden-brown.
Slice the lamb breast into thin strips and dredge in cornflour.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan and fry each strip for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until crisp. Set aside.
For the cucumber pickle, mix the vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and white peppercorns together in a jar. Using a melon baller, scoop out balls of the cucumber, place into the jar and set aside for 30 minutes.
To serve, place the strips of lamb fillet into serving bowls and top with the chopped chillies, spring onions, broad beans and mint. Place the lamb breast and sweetbreads on top.
Serve the soup tureen in the centre of the table, cut the pastry top and ladle the broth into the serving bowls. Serve the cucumber pickle alongside.
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