Roasted sea bass with rosemary and artichoke purée
• 1kg European sea bass fillets, trimmed and scaled
• 4 lemons
• 20g fresh rosemary
• 4 large globe artichokes
• 100ml heavy whipping cream
• 75g unsalted butter
• 350ml chicken stock
• 50g shelled and peeled hazelnuts
• Salt and white pepper, to taste
• 30ml corn oil or similar
1. Peel the outer leaves off the artichokes, exposing the tender inner leaves. Using a knife, remove these leaves and the hairs attached to the artichoke hearts, being careful not to remove too much of the heart, as this is the part that you're after. Peel about 2 centimetres down the stalk of the artichoke as well and remove the bottom part, as it's too woody and inedible.
2. Cut the cleaned artichoke hearts into quarters and place in a saucepan with the chicken stock, half the rosemary sprigs and the zest of one lemon. Season the liquid with salt to taste and slowly simmer until the artichoke hearts are tender. Remove the artichokes from the liquid and place in a blender with the cream. Blend until smooth and season again with salt and pepper. Reserve.
3. For the sea bass, season the skin side with salt and white pepper. Cut each fillet in half, in a diagonal cut, and lightly score the skin with a sharp knife. Heat a non-stick wide-bottom frying pan to a medium-high heat and add the corn oil. Sear skin side down for two to three minutes or until the flesh turns from opaque to white and is firm to the touch. Once firm, using a spatula, carefully flip the sea bass over to the flesh side and add 25g of butter to the pan. Baste the sea bass with the butter and pan jus. Add a small squeeze of lemon to the pan and continue to baste, being careful not to burn the butter.
4. Heat the artichoke purée in a separate saucepan, check seasoning and add salt and/or pepper if desired. Add 25g of butter to enrich the sauce.
5. Lightly toast the hazelnuts over a medium heat until a golden brown colour starts to develop and you can smell the aroma from the hazelnuts. Remove from the heat and crush with the rounded side of a saucepan or flat side of a knife.
6. Place the warm artichoke purée on the plate, place two pieces of sea bass fillet on top and garnish with the crushed hazelnuts.
Slow-cooked lamb with butternut and rosemary sauté
• 1kg lamb neck, trimmed and seasoned with salt and white pepper
• 4 carrots, peeled and roughly diced
• 4 medium onions, peeled and roughly diced
• 4 celery stalks, cleaned and roughly diced
• 1 head of garlic, cloves removed and peeled (half crushed, half whole)
• 2L chicken stock
• 500g butternut squash, peeled and seeded, roughly chopped
• 20g fresh rosemary sprigs
• 50g fresh cep mushrooms (frozen, if not available)
• 125g shallots
• 50g unsalted butter
• 350ml corn oil
• Salt and white pepper, to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 180°c. In a large (5L to 6L) oven-safe pot, heat 30ml of corn oil over a medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to ripple, add the lamb neck and brown on all sides for five to seven minutes.
2. Once brown, remove the lamb and add the carrots, onions, celery and crushed garlic. Sweat down until tender and the onions begin to brown, then cook for two to three minutes and add 1.5L of chicken stock. Add the lamb and bring to a slow simmer. Once simmering, cover with a lid or double-layered aluminium foil and place in the oven for one-and-a-half to two hours or until the lamb is fork tender. Remove the lamb and strain the vegetables from the sauce. Reduce the braising liquid over a medium heat until the sauce begins to thicken.
3. In a separate saucepan, add the rosemary sprigs, butternut and remaining chicken stock. Cook uncovered until the butternut is tender. Remove the rosemary and discard. Remove the butternut and place in a blender. Add a small amount of chicken stock until the blender begins to turn. Blend until smooth. Pass through a fine strainer. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
4. For the fried garlic, bring 300ml of oil to a medium heat in a large saucepan. Thinly slice the whole garlic cloves to a similar size. Once the oil begins to ripple, place in half of the garlic. Once the garlic begins to turn golden brown, remove and place on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Reserve.
5. For the cep jus, finely dice the shallots. Place 20ml of oil into a pan and heat over a medium heat. Once the oil begins to ripple, add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the cep mushrooms, season lightly with salt and cook until tender. Add this to the braising liquid and reduce until the jus coats the back of a spoon.
6. Heat the butternut purée in the saucepan, finish with 50g of butter and heat through, checking seasoning.
7. Heat the lamb in the cep jus until heated through.
8. Place the butternut purée on the plate, a portion of lamb on top and garnish with fried garlic and a drizzle of cep jus.