Lamb salad kebabs
Serves 4 — 100g Maldon salt — 50g demerara sugar — 20g mint, rosemary and/or lovage leaves in varying proportions — 2 large garlic cloves — 10 black peppercorns — 1 large boneless lamb
breast (600-700g) — 2 large onions — oil, for greasing — 450g full-fat yogurt,
preferably sheep’s-milk — 2 cos or romaine lettuces — 1 cucumber — 60ml white wine — 60ml white wine vinegar — 60g caster sugar Combine the salt, demerara sugar, herbs, garlic and peppercorns in a jug blender and blitz together until the mixture is very fine.
Cut away any reddish top skin from the lamb breast and, using your hands, rub the meat all over with the curing mixture. Place on a tray, cover with cling film and set in the fridge for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 150C/ gas mark 2.
Rinse the lamb thoroughly under a cold tap and pat dry with a clean tea towel.
Peel the onions and slice them into rounds about 5mm thick. Pile them up in a lightlyoiled roasting tin. Lay the lamb, fat side up, on top of the onions.
Lightly oil and score the fat side, then seal the tin very tightly with two layers of kitchen foil. Cook in the oven for about three hours, or until the lamb is very tender.
Meanwhile, place the yogurt in a bowl lined with a clean J-cloth, tie up the corners of the cloth with string and suspend the yogurt over the bowl for about two hours. This should yield about 200ml of liquid whey (don’t discard it – you can use this to make the cocktail on page 66), and the yogurt in the cloth will thicken considerably. Scrape the yogurt into a fresh bowl, whisk in salt and pepper to taste and keep in the fridge.
After the lamb has been cooking for three hours, turn up the heat to 180C/gas mark 4, remove the foil and allow the fat to rend and brown for another 20 minutes or so. Set the lamb aside, covered, to rest and cool for about 30 minutes.
Separate the lettuces into leaves, wash and drain well. Finely shred the smaller inner leaves and keep the larger ones for serving the lamb in.
Peel, halve and deseed the cucumber, and cut it into 3mm slices. Place half of them in a bowl, toss with about a teaspoon of fine salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Keep the remaining fresh cucumber covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
Boil the wine, vinegar and caster sugar together until the sugar has dissolved, to make a simple pickling liquor. Rinse the salted cucumber well in cold water, drain well, and place in a fresh bowl. Pour over the hot pickling liquor and set aside to cool.
To serve, pull the lamb and onions into shreds using either clean hands or two forks. Dress with the juices from the roasting tin. Spread a generous dollop of the yogurt inside a larger lettuce leaf and fill with some of the lamb, shredded lettuce and the pickled and fresh cucumber.
Head chef Tommy Banks; one of the many flavoured alcohols made at the restaurant; the polytunnels are heated using waste heat Below from left produced by the restaurant’s generator; almost all of the fruit and vegetables consumed at The Black Swan are...