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.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1998

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  1. 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.

  2. Place dried mushrooms in a spice mill or coffee grinder; grind to the consistency of coffee. Transfer to a plate.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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