Sous Vide Deboned Lamb Chops with Braised Fennel, Risotto and Mint Sauce Pearls

This chalk board is in our kitchen and we use it as an ideas board for some of the meals we plan to make. This menu was driven by the mint sauce pearls (see previous blog entry).
We bought a whole lamb loin with the bone in. This is the cut that loin chops or T-bones come from. It is cheaper than the popular rack of lamb, but when cooked in a water bath sous vide it is just as tender.

Remove the meat from the bone (the bones can be used to make lamb stock).
Remove most of the fat.

On one side lay out slices of garlic then season with salt and pepper.

Fold over.
Tie with some butchers twine.

Vacuum seal in a plastic bag, then cook in a water bath at 145 F for 50 minutes. When done let it rest for 10 minutes.

Once rested unwrap from sous vide bag, season with salt and pepper and sear on all sides in a very hot pan. 
Then set aside to rest for another 10 minutes. 
Remove the stalks (these will be used to make a stock for the risotto)
From the fennel bulb, cut out the woody base and remove the outer layers.
Cut each half again so that it is in quaters.
Place the bulbs into a pan, just cover with water, then sprinkle with taragon, salt and pepper then drizzle with some olive oil and add a pat of butter. Cover with a paper cartouche and simmer until tender.

First you need to make the stock using the tops and trim from the fennel.

Place them in a pot with a star anise, tarragon and a bay leaf. Cover with water then simmer over a low heat for about an hour.

Strain then measure out 3 1/2 cups and keep hot on the stove.

Measure 1 cup of Aborio rice. Put a ladle of the stock in a pan and turn up the heat.
Add the rice to the hot liquid in the pan.

Once the liquid is absorbed (you need to keep stiring the rice) add more of the stock. Keep adding and stirring until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

At the end add in some goat cheese and season.

Place the risotto in the center of the plate – a mold can help to keep it centered.

Place the braised fennel round the edge with the lamb slices on top of the risotto.
Garnish with some raw fennel fronds.
Serve with some of the mint sauce pearls on top of the lamb.


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