Roasted Rack of Lamb with Lima Bean and Braised Lamb Shoulder Cassoulet and Pommes Dauphine at Bas Rouge Restaurant in Easton by Chef Harley Peet
Preparation time: 2 days; overnight to braise lamb shoulder and make the sauce. Then 25 to 30 minutes to fabricate/cook lamb rack and make pommes Dauphine, and 8- 10 minutes to assemble final plate.
Equipment: Heavy-bottom stainless steel or enameled cast iron braising pan with lid, heavy-bottom stainless steel sauce pan and fry pan; a counter top deep fryer or tall-sided pan to fry in; an instant read thermometer; a potato ricer or food mill; and a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
Pommes Dauphine (requires two components, Pate Choux and dry mashed potatoes.)
For the Choux paste:
1 cup water,
1 ½ ounces unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of kosher salt
2 to 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cooked till soft, then riced and kept warm
For the Braised Lamb shoulder and cassoulet:
1 each, 8-bone lamb rack cut into two bone portions, seared golden brown on both sides, hold at room temperature
1 bone-in lamb shoulder, 3 to 4 pounds
2 large carrots, peeled, large dice
6 ribs of celery, large dice
1 large white onion, large dice
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 bay leaf
1 gallon brown veal stock
1 cup blanched lima beans
¼ cup small-diced blanched carrot
¼ cup small-diced blanched celery
¼ cup small-diced blanched onion
For Dauphine potatoes, bring water and butter to a simmer, reduce heat to low, add flour all at once, and salt, then mix with a wooden spoon till smooth, and transfer to mixer bowl. Mix on high with paddle until steam stops coming off mixture. Switch to low, add eggs, one at a time. Fold half of the Choux paste into the warm potato mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. If the base is too soft, stiffen it by folding in more Choux paste. It should be able to hold its shape. When boiling the potatoes for the Dauphine, be sure to steam dry the potatoes once they are cooked by putting them back into the cooking pot after draining. Over low flame, gently dry the potatoes of any visible water. The ideal final product is light, fluffy, and dry after ricing. The Dauphine mixture can be made up to one day ahead and refrigerated.
For the braised lamb shoulder, season shoulder with salt and pepper, and sear until golden brown in braising pan. Remove meat, add tomato paste, celery, carrot, and onion, and cook for 2 minutes. The bottom of the pan should get dark and have nice “fond” (“fond” is a term used for the brown roasty bits that form on the bottom of the pan from searing meat) development. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Return lamb to pan and add bay leaf. Cover meat mostly with stock and braise with lid on — don’t boil — for 4 to 6 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 200° F, or is fork tender. Let meat cool overnight in the liquid.
Finish roasting the previously seared lamb rack portions in a 350° F oven to an internal temperature of 110° F for a rare to medium rare.
While the lamb is roasting, fry pommes Dauphine in 350° F oil until golden brown. Use two large kitchen spoons to form round balls or use a kitchen scoop to get a nice uniform shape.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, cover the small diced and blanched celery, carrots, onions, and lima beans with the thickened braising liquid (sauce) and heat thoroughly, finishing with enough pulled lamb shoulder meat to make a thick cassoulet base. The braising liquid from the lamb shoulder becomes the cassoulet sauce by straining it three times through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth, reducing to a rich meaty flavor, then slightly thickening to a nappe consistency using a cornstarch slurry.
To finish, spoon a generous amount of cassoulet in a deep coupe or large bowl, placing two potato Dauphine balls in the middle of the cassoulet and leaning the perfectly roasted lamb rack against them. you may want to cut the lamb rack into two pieces as we do in the restaurant to showcase the beautiful red interior of the lamb rack.
ABOUT THE CHEF:
Executive Chef, Bas Rouge
Harley Peet serves as executive chef of Bluepoint Hospitality, a role he has held since 2013, and brings classic French techniques to the group’s luxury concepts on the Eastern Shore. Hailing from a family in Michigan that owned and operated a meat-packing facility for more than a century, Peet knew from an early age that his career path would lead to the food industry.
He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2002 and moved to the Eastern Shore to train at Tilghman Island Inn, where he worked for five years, honing his culinary and leadership skills. In 2007, he accepted the executive sous chef position at The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels. While training under chef Mark Salter, Peet was introduced to Paul Prager, a regular guest, who grew increasingly impressed with his cooking after each meal.
Peet eventually began working with Prager on the conception of Bluepoint Hospitality. In this role, he showcases modern iterations of Old-World recipes, drawing upon the bounty of Chesapeake Bay seafood, high-quality ingredients from local farms and international delicacies from the far corners of Europe and beyond.