Crab stuffed Lamb

stuffed lamb

November 20th, 2012

On Sunday I cooked Sunday lunch for 9 people with Oli, chez Rick and Su in Golders Green. We went to Borough Market to plan the meal, but I bought a leg of lamb from Theobalds on the way (Grahame the butcher boned the lamb so that it could be stuffed).


We were talking about Lardo as we walked around the market and literally, right in front of us, was an Italian stall selling it – it’s quite an unusual product to find in Britain. For the uninitiated, Lardo is pig fat cured with rosemary and other herbs and spices. It’s a bit like a cross between Lard and Proscuitto ham. I didn’t know how we’d use it but I knew we had to buy some.

fried lardo

I sliced the Lardo as thinly as possible and fried it to make it crispy (this could be quite unorthodox – I believe it’s normally sliced and served on warm toast).

cod roe and lardo

Meanwhile, Oli toasted some bread and made soldiers. The soldiers were spread with soft cod roe and half of them were served with Lardo. The taste of cod roe and crispy Lardo combined was amazing.


As an additional amuse-bouche we heated Confit de Gésiers in the oven and served them in a bowl with a sprinkling of Umami Dust (more on that later). Confit de Gésiers are duck gizzards, cooked and preserved in duck fat.

à table

The stuffing for the lamb was made with 1lb of light and dark crab meat (from the fishmonger in borough Market), spring onions, garlic, 4 anchovies, juniper berries, ginger, curry powder, fresh mint, a shallot, tomato purée and 2 egg whites. The lamb was tied with butchers string to keep the stuffing in. The anchovies came in olive oil, so I rubbed the oil into the outside of the lamb and sprinkled it with a little Umami Dust. The lamb cooked in a fan assisted oven at 175º C for 90 minutes. There was a dish full of stuffing leftover, so that went into the oven later, 30 minutes before dishing up and was served on the side.

Umami is the Japanese name for the fifth basic taste – savoury. The others being bitter, salty, sour and sweet. The kind of foods that produce a savoury flavour when combined are: tomato, garlic, lemon, anchovy, vinegar, salt and mushroom. These ingredients have been combined to make a commercial product – Taste 5 Umami Dust. The dust was sitting on the counter while we were cooking, so it seemed like something to try. IMHO all the food tasted great, but you’ll notice that we used lots of the combined Umami creating ingredients anyway, in fact I use those ingredients in almost all meals…

jerusalem artichokes

To go with the stuffed lamb we served sliced, roasted Jerusalem Artichokes, Celeriac Mash, Cavolo Nero and


home made gravy. The stock was made by boiling up the lamb bone with herbs (rosemary, sage and thyme), carrots, carrot tops, celery, garlic, leek tops and spring onion tops – by tops I mean the leftover bits of vegetables that didn’t go into something else. The stock was stirred into the gravy, made from duck fat, the lamb juices, plain flour, red wine and Balsamic Vinegar. The lamb rested in foil for 30 minutes while the gravy was cooking.

caramelised oranges

While we made a mess in the kitchen, Su prepared some beautiful caramelised oranges with cinnamon.

flaming orange

At the appropriate moment, Oli flamed the oranges with Cardenal Mendoza – an outstanding Brandy de Jerez with a shocking price tag.

parmigiano reggiano

While buying the Lardo in Borough market, we also came across some fantastic Parmesan cheese, which was far too good for pasta, so we had it as the cheese course instead!

Throughout the afternoon, Sam produced some amazing cocktails and delighted us with magic tricks. Examples of Sam’s genius can be seen here and there.

About Mad Dog
This entry was posted in Drink, Fish, Food, Meat, Recipes, Shopping, Spanish and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Crab stuffed Lamb

  1. Conor Bofin says:

    You sure don’t do things by halves. Lardo is a new one on me. As is the Umami Dust. The crab stuffed lamb is very inventive. Was it good?

  2. cecilia says:

    If ever i come back to london i shall insist on a dinner party with you in charge and us wandering the market looking for delightful eats.. that lardo sounds fantastic.. c

  3. Un plato muy interesante, MD… Me encantaría probarlo porque la mezcla de los ingredientes y todo el proceso de elaboración me están haciendo agua la boca 😉

  4. Tessa says:

    Crab stuffed Lamb? Wow! What a unique surf and turf combination. Sounds delicious! I think that I may borrow that idea from you one day!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks – do feel free to borrow it. I can’t remember the exact proportions for the stuffing, but you can taste it beforehand. The original idea came from lamb stuffed with lobster 😉

  5. Eha says:

    Fascinating: yes, I would have thought of lobster too, but can taste the crab! How come the curry powder and jumiper berries got married? Truly have to try this!!!! Sorry, the flaming spirit used may not have a shocking price tag . . .:) !

  6. This is just an unbelievable feast.. I’m so impressed. I’d love to have sampled every dish because each one has ingredient(s) I’m not familiar with.. so I can only look and imagine! Just wonderful menu and combinations!! I’ve got to try a few more of these ingredients, especially the “dust”!

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    MD, you do come up with some fantastic menus. Crab-stuffed lamb? I’ve never heard of such a thing and now I can think of nothing else. What a feast!

  8. I would never have thought to stuff lamb with crab! You have outdone yourself Mad! The lardo with cod roe, les gesiers, jerusulem artichokes, mah-velous!

  9. Just one of the best conceived lunches – filled with imagination and wonderfully matched ingredients. Top.

  10. Absolutely amazing MD – just when I think you´ve done it all, you come up with another amazing feast. Can´t even begin to imagine what you´ll do for Christmas!

  11. Karen says:

    Inventive and delicious sounding….what a feast!

  12. This all looks and sounds so wonderful! And as for the lardo – I love it when I see something like that unexpectedly, so I have to buy it and then make something delicious as you have here. I’ve just seen your comment to Chica and I can’t wait to see what you’ve found in the Boqueria!

  13. HI Mad Dog, the Parmesan and Lardo is from our stall at Borough Market, now we are in Green Market in front of hot food, come back soon enjoy enjoy our goods

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.