Fancy Lamb Salad Sandwich

This title is a little bit misleading.. I'm sure I've done a variation of this recipe at one of the restaurants I worked at as a chef, if I'm mistaken then I have no problem with claiming the glory of coming up with this all on my own haha....

It's basically a puff-pastry square, cooked until golden brown, then split in the middle and filled with whatever you like really. The flakey, crispy outer shell creates a lovely texture to compliment more soft textures of roast vegetables, even braised or slow-cooked meat, fish, you name it!

I did a marinated lamb salad with baby spinach, goats cheese, roast beetroot, parsnip and carrot and of course some caramelised balsamic glaze to finish.

You will need... 4 serves
1 sheet puff pastry, cut into 4 squares
canola spray
300gr lamb, whichever cut you prefer (backstrap is obviously a winner, but you could use rump or round steaks)
1 cup red wine
1 garlic glove
1 sprig rosemary
4 small beetroots
2 small parsips
2 small carrots
olive oil
salt & pepper
50gr goats cheese
2 cups balsamic vinegar of Modena
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 cups baby spinach

1. Start this recipe a day ahead, and marinate the lamb in the wine, garlic (crushed) and rosemary in a bowl, covered with glad wrap over night in the fridge.
2. Cut the beetroots from the stalk**, and wrap each one in foil. Place in a hot oven (about 230 degrees celsius), and roast until softened, check by piercing with a knife. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly before donning a pair of disposable gloves and peeling the skin off. Place in an airtight container in the fridge.
3. Make balsamic reduction by combining the balsamic and brown sugar in a heavy based saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to the lowest setting and leave to reduce by 2 thirds, stirring occasionally. Reduction will thicken up once cooled and be a syrupy consistency. (you can skip this part and just by a balsamic glaze if you want!)
2. When you're ready to start preparing, remove the lamb from the fridge, scoop it out of the marinade onto a plate and leave to come to room temperature while you prepare the other elements. Do the same with the beetroots.
3. Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips to even-sized 1cm pieces. Place in a roasting tray coated with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a hot oven at about 220 degrees celsius for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees. Place the puff squares on a baking tray sprayed with canola oil, and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and evenly golden brown.
5. Meanwhile, place a non-stick pan over a high heat with a little bit of olive oil. Sear the lamb on either side for roughly 3-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat. Cook to medium-rare. Remove and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
6. Cut the beetroot into similar size pieces as the carrot & parsnip, and quickly toss all together in the hot pan used to cook the lamb to warm through. Transfer to a bowl, and add the spinach, and a splash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasoning. Slice the lamb to 1cm thickness, and add to the salad, making sure to pour the delicious juices in too!
7. Once the puff is cooked, use a small knife to make an incision in the side of the pastry half way between the top and bottom, now carefully, using the knife and your hands, split in two so you have two separate pieces- a top and bottom.
8. Spoon the lamb salad mixture onto the base of the puff and crumble the goats cheese over the top. Sit the pastry top at an angle on the salad so you can still see the filling. Complete with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and some cracked pepper to serve.

** When cutting the beetroots from the stalk, keep about 1 inch of the stalk attached to the beetroot while roasting as it intensifies the beetroot flavour and helps retain moisture. If your not using the beetroots within the next day keep them in their skins and they will last a lot longer.


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