Lamb Cutlets with Roquefort Soufflé and Puy Lentils

Creamy chicken and blue cheese mousse makes rich, tangy topping for Jean-Christophe Novelli's roast lamb cutlets finished under the grill
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Lamb Cutlets with Roquefort Soufflé and Puy Lentils
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus soaking time
  • Effort: hard

Ingredients

For the lentils

  • 100 g Puy lentils
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs bay leaves, 3-4 leaves per sprig
  • 1 small carrot, cut into tiny dice
  • 1 small onion, cut into tiny dice
  • 1 sticks celery, de-strung and cut into tiny dice
  • 1 tbsp high quality chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp high quality chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp high quality veal stock
  • 2 tbsp finely diced carrots
  • 2 tbsp finely diced onions
  • 1 tbsp finely diced celery

For the lamb

  • 2 chicken breast fillets, skinned
  • 1 egg white
  • 400 ml double cream
  • 12 lamb cutlets
  • 12 basil
  • 200 g roquefort cheese, crumbled
  • 300 g caul fat
  • 3 heads garlic, unpeeled, halved horizontally
  • 4 long banana shallots, unpeeled, halved vertically
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

Tips and Suggestions


Caul fat is available from independent butchers.

Method

1. Before you start cooking, soak the lentils in a bowl of cold water for 2 hours, and in a separate bowl, soak the sprigs of thyme and bay leaves.

2. Start making the sauce. Place the chicken and veal stocks in a pan with 600ml water and the finely diced carrot, onion and celery. Bring to a boil over a high heat and boil hard until the volume of liquid has reduced by two-thirds. Strain the mixture into a clean saucepan and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.

3. Drain the lentils and place in a saucepan with the carrot, onion, celery, chicken stock and bay leaf. Add enough cold water to come 3cm above the surface of the lentils. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are just tender. Add salt to taste. Leave the lentils to cool in the cooking liquid, then drain and remove the bay leaf.

4. Meanwhile, start preparing the lamb. Put the chicken breast, egg and double cream in a liquidiser or food processor and blitz until smooth.

5. Take a heaped tablespoon of the chicken mixture and spread it on top of each lamb cutlet. Sprinkle with the Roquefort and lay a basil leaf on top. Wrap the meaty section of each cutlet with a piece of caul fat.

6. Heat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Place a large frying pan over a high heat and, when hot, sear the lamb cutlets in batches on the underside. At the same time, sear the halved garlic and shallots, laying them cut-side down in the pan.

7. Carefully transfer the cutlets to a large roasting tray while you sear the remainder. Add the garlic and shallots, plus the soaked thyme and bay leaves, to the roasting tray, then place it in the oven to roast for about 12 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the drained lentils and some of the reduced sauce and heat through.

9. Heat the grill. Transfer the lamb cutlets to the grill pan, cheese side up, and grill until the soufflé mixture is golden brown.

10. To serve, place a pile of lentils on each serving plate, then top with two lamb cutlets, criss-crossed at the bone ends. Divide the garlic and shallots among the plates, top each one with a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf and drizzle the remaining sauce around the edge of the plate.

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