Lamb Backstrap in Filo with Pea & Mint Puree and Potato & Mushroom Cake

4 lamb backstraps
2 teaspoons olive oil
12 filo pastry sheets
100g unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup parsley leaves
zest of ½ a lemon
1 clove garlic
50ml olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pea puree
1 cup peas
½ cup potato, cut into 2cm pieces
1 tablespoon cream
1 teaspoon mint leaves
50g butter
½ clove garlic
Mushroom and potato bake
cooking oil spray
½ tablespoon plain flour
200ml milk
2 eggs
1 cup potato, cut into 1 cm pieces
2 dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in water, finely chopped
Sun-dried tomato sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock

To reconstitute porcini, place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand 30 minutes. Drain. If making a sauce, be sure to use the poaching liquid as it will be full of flavour.

Gremolata is a herb garnish traditionally served with the Italian dish osso bucco. Usually made with parsley, lemon zest and garlic and sprinkled over the dish before serving, it now has many flavour variations and is also wonderful as a coating for meat and fish.

For a quick filo pastry tip, try spraying between layers with cooking oil as opposed to brushing with butter.

Pea puree is also a wonderful accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. To prepare the gremolata, using a barmix, process all ingredients to form a smooth paste. Place in bowl with lamb. Toss to combine. Stand at least 15 minutes to marinate.
  3. To prepare the pea puree, cook peas and potato in a saucepan of boiling salted water until the potato is tender. Drain. Place in a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Heat oil in a large heavy based frying pan until quite hot. Add lamb in batches. Cook, until browned all over and sealed. Cool slightly.
  5. To prepare the mushroom and potato bake, spray four holes of a muffin pan (1/3 cup/80ml capacity) with cooking oil. Combine the flour, milk and, eggs in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the potato and mushrooms. Divide mixture among pan holes. Cook, for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Stand a few minutes before turning out of pan. Cover to keep warm.
  6. To prepare the sauce, heat oil in small saucepan. Add tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Add wine and stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce by half. Cover to keep warm.
  7. To wrap lamb, layer three sheets of filo together, brushing with butter in between. Place a lamb backstrap along one short end of the pastry. Fold in long sides and roll to enclose. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle over poppy seeds. Repeat with remaining pastry, butter and lamb. Place parcels on a paper lined baking tray. Cook in the oven for about 5-6 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. Cut in half.
  8. To plate, spoon a little of the pea puree into centre of four plates. Arrange two lamb halves to one side of the puree and place the potato cake on the other side of the puree, pour a little of the sauce around the puree in a frame like fashion and serve immediately.