Jean-Georges's Boneless Lamb with Mushroom Crust and Leek Puree
Chef and author Jean-Georges Vongerichten recommends trimming the meat of fat and letting the mushroom-encrusted lamb shank sit, refrigerated, for two hours before cooking it; this will elicit a truly robust, mushroomy taste. Serve with sauteed fresh shiitakes and a simple leek puree -- Jean-Georges also prepares a few whole baby leeks for a garnish.
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 leeks, trimmed of hard green parts, split in half, washed, and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 ounces dried black-trumpet mushrooms, or other dried mushrooms
- 1 large egg
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 2 racks of lamb, boned
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, or other mushrooms, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Coarse salt
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add leeks, and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a blender. Add butter; season with salt and pepper, and puree. Transfer to a warm place.
Place dried mushrooms in a spice mill or coffee grinder; grind to the consistency of coffee. Transfer to a plate.
Place egg in a bowl; add some salt and pepper, and beat lightly. Place flour on a plate. Dip lamb very lightly in flour; shake off excess. Dip into egg, then into mushrooms. Pat mushrooms to adhere so they coat the lamb heavily. Refrigerate up to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 10-inch skillet; add the shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in an ovenproof skillet set over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the lamb; cook 2 minutes on one side, then turn. Place the skillet in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes for rare meat, a little longer for more well-done.
Let the lamb rest 1 minute, then cut it into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a dollop of leek puree on each plate, top with a portion of mushrooms, then place the lamb on top. Sprinkle with a little coarse salt, and serve.