Braised lamb boulangère
This comforting dish by Bottle + Rye chef Ben Hughes-Gage sees tender chunks of lamb layered up with potato and finished with a crisp, butter-brushed top. Perfect winter comfort food
- Serves: 8 persons
- 500g lamb neck fillet, trimmed
- 1whole garlic bulb, halved through the middle, plus garlic cloves, minced
- 1tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf and rosemary)
- 1litre chicken stock, warmed
- 50ml rapeseed oil
- 500g onions, finely sliced
- 3thyme sprigs
- 70g unsalted butter
- 800g Pink Fir potatoes, thinly sliced on a mandoline
Step 1Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Put the lamb in a high-sided 23cm baking dish along with the garlic bulb halves, peppercorns and bouquet garni, then pour over the stock. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 2 hrs until soft, checking after 1 hr 30 mins – if a knife goes through the meat easily, it’s ready. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. Strain off the stock, discarding the bouquet garni, peppercorns and garlic. Dice the meat into 1cm chunks and pour over a few tablespoons of the stock. Season to taste.
Step 2Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions and garlic cloves with a large pinch of salt for 10 mins until softened. Add the thyme and 50g of the butter, then reduce the heat and cook for 50 mins, stirring often until nicely caramelised. Season and leave to cool.
Step 3Rinse the sliced potatoes to remove any starch, then drain and season with salt. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 6. Arrange a layer of onions in the base of a large baking dish, followed by the meat. Repeat this to make four layers, with about 1cm left at the top for the potatoes. Starting from the outside, spiral the potato slices into the middle. Melt the remaining butter and brush over the top of the potatoes, then bake for 45-50 mins or until the potatoes are cooked through and golden. For individual dishes, you’ll need around 20 mins.