Recipe: Teacake’s Spring Starter

Spring is most definitely in the air and with that comes the opportunity to experience seasonal produce.

Here, Teacake owner Bob Miller shares his recipe for the perfect spring starter – lamb shank bonbon with garlic and baby gem puree, peas and samphire reduction. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party al fresco or celebrating a family occasion with a BBQ, this is the perfect way to begin a spring meal.

Ingredients and Method

To make the shank bonbon

  • 1 x lamb shank
  • 1 x carrot chopped
  • 1 x stick of celery chopped
  • 1 x garlic clove chopped
  • Sprig of rosemary
  • Sprig of thyme
  • Pink of lamb or chicken stock
  • 2 x eggs
  • 1 x cup of plain flour
  • 2 x cup of breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

In a hot pan, sear the lamb shank and season well. Remove from the heat and fry the vegetables and herbs in the same pan, using the stock to deglaze.

Add the meat and vegetable mixture to a slow cooker and cook for six to eight hours until the meat comes away from the bone. Alternatively, you can braise the meat in an oven, 180C, for two to three hours.

Remove the meat from the liquid (set aside to be used as a gravy) and once cooled pull the meat away from the bone using a fork. Season with salt and pepper and roll into small balls. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, arrange three bowls – one with beaten egg, one with plain flour and one with breadcrumbs. Remove the lamb balls from the fridge and roll in the flour, then egg and then breadcrumbs. Once covered, shallow fry in a pan with a little olive oil.

To make the baby gem and wild garlic puree

  • 2 x baby gem lettuce
  • 200g wild garlic 
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 x banana shallots (diced)

Blanch the wild garlic and baby gem for 40 – 50 seconds and then refresh in cold or iced water.

In a hot pan, sauté the shallots before deglazing with stock and then cream. Reduce for a few minutes then blitz in a food processor with the gem and garlic before seasoning to taste.

To prepare the greens

  • 100g frozen peas 
  • 100g samphire
  • 100g shelled green beans 
  • 3 x white asparagus stalks
  • 6 x green asparagus stalks

Blanch all greens then toss in hot butter in a pan and lightly season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon the puree onto a dish before topping with a shank bon bon and accompanying greens.

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