Lamb in salt crust
Lamb in salt crust
Photo: Marina Oliphant
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For the lamb
- 2 trimmed boneless lamb roasts (probably lamb rumps or lamb topsides), each about 450g-500g
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbs butter
- fresh thyme and rosemary
- 500g cooking salt (not rock salt)
- 2 tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1½ cups cold water
- 500g plain flour
Remove fat from the meat. Pat dry with paper towels. Do not salt. In a heavy-based frying pan, heat oil and butter. When butter is foaming, seal the meat well on all sides. Remove to a rack to cool completely.
Grind over some pepper and scatter with thyme and rosemary.
Mix salt, rosemary and water in a mixer with a paddle beater, then add flour, holding a little back in case it is not needed, to make a smooth, firm dough. Rest for 2 hours in the fridge before rolling.
On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 5mm. Put cold, sealed lamb on dough, then bring up the edges of the dough and pinch together very firmly.
Patch any holes with excess dough. It is important there are no gaps.
To cook and serve
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Wrap each piece of meat in crust as instructed in pastry recipe. Place seam side down on preheated baking tray.
Roast 12 minutes per 500g. (Weight of meat, not meat and crust.) (If using an internal meat thermometer it will register 60-65 degrees for rare meat.)
Remove from the oven and rest the parcels in very warm spot for at least 15 minutes.
Cut off one end of crust. Slip meat on to hot tray and carve in thickish slices. Season slices lightly with pepper. The meat will not need salt.
Do and don'ts
Don't wrap the meat more than half an hour in advance as it will make the crust soggy.
Don't salt the meat at any stage.
Don't try to skimp with the crust - it will not stretch without tearing.
Do rest the meat, still wrapped, for at least 15 minutes, before serving.
This recipe is featured in the book Autumn which is available now in all good bookstores RRP $34.95. To order direct call 1300 656 059 or visit www.smh.com.au/store