The celebrated chef shares his favourite mouth-watering lamb dishes. To start, succulent lamb's liver with caramelised potatoes and a dusting of traditional French seasoning.
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Raymond Blanc is opening the doors of his kitchen for a journey of discovery.
Cooking is about curiosity, and if I can inspire you to be curious,
I'll be a very happy man.
-Divulging the secrets of his simplest...
..And most dazzling dishes.
-Be inspired by his passion.
Food is so much more than cooking and eating. It's about, living, life!
Share the secrets of his success.
The wonderful thing having cooking secrets is the ability to share them with you.
Tonight on Kitchen Secrets, Raymond reveals his passion for lamb.
That flavour is a million times better than anything you've tasted before.
Creating dishes which transform the cheapest cuts
into those which complement the most expensive.
From traditional lambs' liver given a delicious twist...
Oh, what a lovely, lovely nose.
We like that.
..To an impressive rack of lamb.
-This is one of my oldest recipes.
-Raymond reveals how to get
the most out of this single, special ingredient.
All that I wanted to do was to show a dish celebrating this wonderful animal from nose to tail.
In his Oxfordshire kitchen, Raymond's main ingredient for the day is being prepared.
I would like first to introduce Dan, who has worked with me for five years and is a great butcher.
He has the best skills, and he's got a lot of strength as well,
which is very useful, OK, when it comes to breaking down a beast like that.
What is wonderful at last - young chefs now are connecting with gastronomy.
That means now we eat the whole of an animal.
We are being far less wasteful.
Under Raymond's watchful eye, the lamb is carefully broken down
to the different cuts he'll be using.
This shoulder, I'll keep it for later.
Because I'm going to slow cook it for four hours at 150 degrees.
Thank you very much for your help.
Hey, it's not finished. Take that away.
Raymond's first recipe takes often overlooked lamb's liver and
transforms it into a mouth-watering treat - lamb's liver persillade.
Succulent liver with crisp sauteed potatoes, sprinkled with a classic French seasoning.
I'm sure you will all remember that horrible school liver, lumpy liver,
thick and overcooked, crucified, murdered. We don't want that.
We want to cook it quick, to create a beautiful golden crust outside
to keep the inside very moist.
So, the cutting is very important.
-Raymond cuts the liver into slices one centimetre thick.
This will allow it to cook evenly, staying succulent and tender.
What I have done here is a little secret.
You actually soak it, OK, in half water, half milk,
and about five big pinches of salt.
By putting water, I'm cutting down the richness of the milk,
OK, allowing the salt to permeate inside the liver and draw some of the blood.
Extracting the blood will remove the bitterness and help sweeten the flavour.
Next, he prepares the herb-packed persillade.
Persillade has got a big place in the heart of every Frenchman.
Raymond chops the main ingredient, parsley, then adds chervil, tarragon and sage.
-Before adding two crushed garlic cloves
and a whole shallot to give the persillade a gentle kick.
So we have our persillade here.
-Do you want me to take it away?
-Of course. No, it's OK.
Your services are not required, Monsieur Adam.
I'm very lucky, he's the best tempered chef I have.
Next, Raymond sautees par-boiled potatoes in sizzling rapeseed oil.
Our potatoes are nicely caramelised.
A tiny dash of butter, just to give a bit of unctuousity.
Voila. And they are ready.
So now, you lower it down.
He lightly browns butter to create beurre noisette,
which will add a subtle nutty flavour to the liver.
So two little slices or slivers
of liver like that.
Oh, what a lovely, lovely nose.
Wonderful nose. We like that.
Don't season your liver in advance.
Often the salt withdraws the moisture then you have a pool of water into your pan.
OK, so season it now.
That will take only two minutes.
They are now nicely coloured. You can see it, the difference in colour.
What's happening here is amazing.
The juices are leaking out and solidifying themselves at the bottom of the pan.
By adding water, they will merge together
into a marvellous little jus,
then that's when I add my persillade to both my potato...
..and to my liver.
A little bit on my liver. Tres bien.
And I put my water.
Et voila. And you create a wonderful emulsion here, and you are ready to serve.
So delicious, so simple.
Ah, that is a home sweet home.
-Can you come and join me to have a liver treat?
-OK, lamb's liver.
With sautee potatoes which I used to have in my home, and I know, because you've been to my home.
-when Maman Blanc cooked for you, you didn't like her snails.
They weren't English snails.
OK. But I hope you like the liver, OK?
It's better than the school dinners we used to get.
I bloody hope so!
That was the last time I tried liver, was at school.
It's nice with the garlic in there.
Ah, yes. What is missing is the escargots, Adam, huh?
For Raymond, good quality lamb, bursting with flavour,
begins with good quality farming.
He's come to Hampshire to visit one of the country's only organic and biodynamic farms.
It's run by Raymond's friend, Ex-Formula One champion Jody Scheckter.
Thank you for the drive, but never again, OK? Next time, I drive you.
You cook, I'll do the driving.
Jody rears a flock of around 800 sheep,
made up of three different breeds.
They're looked after by shepherd Nigel, who knows just how to select the perfect animal.
-You feel them on the back, see, on the loin?
And then over the rib, and you feel round the docks.
-So you check up here as well, on that side?
-The top of the tail.
She likes it very much. She likes Frenchmen. You are ready, girl.
In the saucepan, on the spit.
Jody follows a biodynamic philosophy, believing all aspects
of the farm are interconnected, from the special pasture,
grown using a unique mix of grasses,
to the rearing and slaughtering of the animals.
We've looked at everything, so we start in the soil and we want to get the soil right because everything
comes from the soil. Then we looked at the grasses.
If you think a normal farm would have rye grass,
we have 31 herbs and so you can see the mixture.
But then how you slaughter the animal is very important.
If you stress it - you can have the best lamb and the best grass
and the best breed - if you stress it when you are in the abattoir, you will have bad meat.
-So you have your own abattoir, on your own land?
But it's quite incredible, the vitality and the health of these animals.
It's always about quality, right from the setting down of the grass,
selecting the breed, right up to slaughter, right up to the plate, and me, as a chef, believe me,
I appreciate that, when I have a piece of meat, OK,
which is beautifully reared, OK, and you know it.
Raymond's next recipe marries a beautiful cut of lamb shoulder,
slow-roasted with garlic and herbs,
served with a creamy potato and turnip gratin, creating a melt-in-the-mouth meal.
I've got a rather nice piece of shoulder here that my good friend Dan prepared for me.
That's the cheapest part of the animal, OK?
So the meat is quite tough, OK.
And fatty as well.
So now I'm going to prepare a rub.
I've got some lovely herbs here.
Be careful, the herbs are devilish sometimes.
Rosemary is very, very strong.
Just a little, OK?
Three leaves of sage.
A little bit of marjoram. That is even stronger, bitter sweet, lovely.
So you mix that with your salt.
A little bit of olive oil.
And what you have to do is rub it.
The shoulder will be cooked slowly for four hours,
so Raymond coats each side with the oil and herbs
to help the skin crisp up and infuse the meat with flavour.
What I have asked my butcher to do is to chop some bones.
It's a technique I developed many, many years ago.
The lamb will sit beautifully on the brown bones, so the heat goes right the way through.
I'm sure you've all experienced at home when you cook your shoulder
of lamb and then it's all dry and almost burned underneath.
That won't happen, because the heat will go right the way through and
you'll be able, once you've cooked that meat, to eat it
with a spoon, not a knife.
-Lamb bones are inexpensive and available from most high street butchers.
Raymond caramelises them.
Browning the bones will create a sweet, rich jus for basting the meat during roasting.
That will take about ten minutes.
Again, take a timer. Timer, please, guys.
Can you give me my...
-Did you put it on?
-OK, merci, OK.
Another five more minutes...
I've got a bit of garlic here, and all this has got the flavours, the smell,
coming in that kitchen, OK, which is completely wholesome.
To give a bit of acidity to my sauce, to my jus,
I'm going to put a bit of white wine, OK, and I'm going to boil it first.
He rapidly boils the wine to remove the harshness of the alcohol.
I'm rounding up my wine, leaving just enough to give length of flavour to that jus here.
He then adds water and a few herbs to infuse.
We are ready now. I want to place my shoulder of lamb...
My oven is heated at 230. Very high temperature.
That's the first bit.
Just for 20 minutes, and then after very slowly at 150 for four hours.
Give it a good clean up here, guys, Adam, please. Merci.
So what I'm going to do is a simple gratin of turnip and potatoes.
They go so well together, especially with that lamb.
That lamb is so delicious, a man's dish, a serious man's dish.
I'm going to be in trouble.
So let's get our turnips. I need about 500 grams.
Those come from my garden, OK?
How many potatoes? Three will do. A little bit of sage, or maybe thyme would be better.
That's a silver thyme, that one.
Actually, no. It's a lemon thyme.
It would kill that dish completely.
Could you give me a silver thyme, please? Thank you.
OK. Completely different.
Very lemony. It would kill that dish.
So beware of your herbs. Get to know them.
To create a rich, silky gratin, Raymond's using 500 millilitres of whipping cream.
Its high fat content means it won't split when heated.
He adds a sprig of thyme...
That's all what you need. It's very strong here. Merci beaucoup.
..And two cloves of garlic.
You bring the cream to the boil,
and turn it off. Let the garlic infuse into the cream.
They're so fresh, they're so juicy.
They're slippery in your hand.
Adam, where are you?
On my break.
The turnips and potatoes are carefully peeled and thinly sliced
to ensure they will cook evenly.
-Such precision requires total concentration.
That's OK. We lost a tiny little bit.
It's not a big kitchen drama, so far.
Next, the herb-infused cream is poured over the vegetables.
The gratin is then placed in the oven at 160 degrees for 70 minutes,
while the lamb is briefly removed for basting.
Immediately, that smell.
Yes, I'm happy. I'm very happy.
Any excess fat is removed from the lamb juices before Raymond adds the wine and herb infusion.
Finally, he turns the temperature down to 150 degrees.
Voila. I think I'm going to do a couple of other things while my lamb is cooking nicely.
Can you look after it? Thank you.
After four hours of gentle cooking in the rich juices,
the shoulder is ready to come out of the oven.
And look, that is really the prize.
Simply water, but it's the flavour.
You don't need stock cubes. That flavour is a million times better than anything you've tasted before.
-Very tender, very moist.
-Does your mum cook you...?
-Oh, just like being at home but better.
Oh, even better. Wow!
-Just don't tell my mum that.
-No, I would not or I'll be in trouble, OK!
-Voila. Make it really sharp so if I cut myself it's really a nice clean cut, OK?
-OK, chef, yes.
Get the lamb complete.
Next, a recipe which uses one of the more expensive cuts of lamb
to create an elegant dinner party dish.
Lamb Provencal, a herb-encrusted rack of lamb, accompanied by a vibrant ratatouille.
That's one of my oldest recipes.
It goes back to my tiny little bistro when I started in Oxford,
with red and white tablecloths and cheap prints of Paris on the wall.
Oh, lovely, thank you, Adam. Nice sharp knife. My God, lovely.
Most of this dish can be prepared in advance, making it perfect for entertaining.
To begin, Raymond is French-trimming the lamb, by removing all the meat and fat from the ribs.
So we've got the completely clean bones. It's a bit of work but it's quite fun
if you have nothing else to do.
He then scores the meat so the Provencal crust will stick to it, and ties up any loose ends.
That's called a French trim, best end of lamb.
It's really for a very special occasion, and that's how your butcher should prepare it for you.
For the first stage of cooking, Raymond browns the seasoned meat in rapeseed oil.
On the flesh side first.
This caramelises the outside, creating a succulent, sweet flavour.
I'm sure you remember
those meats which are overcooked.
They are all grey and dry outside, and the middle is red.
We don't want that. We want just pink right the way through.
That's why I'm applying gentle heat.
Voila. We are ready.
We've got a beautiful colour here, so now, on the top.
During the second stage, the lamb is roasted at 190 degrees
for 15 minutes, to cook it perfectly before the Provencal crust is added.
Raymond prepares this next.
Tres bien. Now we've got our crumbs.
To the breadcrumbs he adds a selection of herbs, which must
be completely dry before processing, so the mixture will stay loose and crumbly.
-Hello, my little soeur, sister. Ca va?
-Ca va. D'accord.
OK. OK, t'arrives juste a bon temps.
Francoise - I've got two sisters...
..Francoise is probably the worst cook at home.
Oui, c'est vrai!
No, no, she's a very bad cook, seriously bad cook, OK.
Just, maybe, you can join me. Tu peux me joindre un petit peu, Fran-fran?
Raymond adds garlic, seasoning and just a dash of olive oil to keep the mixture's sandy texture.
-Tres bien. Le pulse, the pulse.
-You just want to make it moist, voila. Moist, like that.
That smell. Tu sens ces parfums?
But the smell, the smell is really amazing.
Raymond generously coats the lamb in Dijon mustard.
That will act as a glue.
And you press it.
That will provide a beautiful crust.
The lamb is done in three steps.
The searing, the first cooking, he had 15 minutes.
You put that and you brush your breadcrumbs,
and then when your guests arrive you just need ten minutes' cooking.
And that can be prepared maybe half a day in advance.
This last ten minutes' cooking warms the meat through
whilst keeping the herb crust's vibrant colour.
To go with this dish, I'm going to do a very quick ratatouille.
Not just any ratatouille, a quick one, and that will take you exactly...
Well, it depends if you have an Adam in your kitchen to do all the courgettes and everything.
Raymond is cooking a quick French classic, using a colourful range
of garden vegetables with garlic, a pinch of herbs and a glug of oil.
I am going to do it quite fast, actually, so I can keep some of the colours and textures as well.
The simple, fresh flavours will perfectly complement this special lamb dish.
After 20 minutes, the ratatouille is almost ready.
And the herb-coated lamb can come out of the oven.
C'est tendre? Very tender, huh?
Ah, d'un a dix?
She gives me eight!
Ah, huit. Voila, c'est ca.
-Thank you very much.
In Jody's summer house in Hampshire, Raymond has been invited to cook one
of his special bio-dynamically reared lambs.
I've got a very old memory of mine. I was seven years of age, OK?
In my village there were some Arab people, OK, who were cooking
a feast in the middle of the village a lamb, and it was harissa.
And I tasted it, and my mouth was on fire, but the lamb was beautiful.
-So I want to re-enact that.
-We do half of the lamb?
-We do half.
-Half for you, half for me. Fine.
He's a very hard man, you know!
Having put so much effort into rearing his animals,
Jody believes in purity of flavour when it comes to cooking them.
Spit-roasting will take three or four hours,
so to keep the meat moist, it's crucial to keep it well hydrated...
-Very good beer, thank you, sir.
-The lamb will love it.
With the cooking started, Raymond can prepare his controversial spicy harissa paste.
It's a serious spice experience.
I don't know if Jody will like it or not.
He may never forgive me.
So my chillies, OK.
This is a very mild variety, OK, so I thought of you.
But that should be quite spicy, quite hot. Let's add some cumin.
Oh, it's very fresh.
And there's a...ah! Voila.
Oh! The burn comes later.
The taste comes first and the burn comes later.
That's what we want. Top here.
Let's give it to the lamb. I can smell it already.
The feast is about to start.
The meat is then basted with the harissa every 20 minutes until it's ready.
-Oh, God, the smell is amazing.
Mmm. That old, wonderful smell.
It's got...dribbling, dribbling.
-God, it smells so heavenly.
-So are we going to try this?
-Am I allowed to spit it out?
Don't you dare.
Well, that's nice.
It turns out when it's cooked, quite mild, but you can make it as hot as you want to.
-Just triple the amount of chilli you put in the paste...
And then that would be seriously "hoomph".
A slow-roast lamb will easily feed 20 people, so there's more than enough for everyone.
Raymond's final recipe brings together
each cut of lamb on a single plate, all perfectly presented with an array of flavourful accompaniments,
including braised caramelised shallots and a rich onion puree.
All that I wanted to do is to show a dish celebrating this wonderful animal from nose to tail.
And to accompany it, I've got a few little garnishes which are interesting.
New techniques, new little secrets.
And the first one, we are going to do our own sun-dried tomatoes.
So you notice I don't take the core because the core is so tiny.
We are at home, we are happy.
No Michelin guide is going to turn up into my home. I hope not.
No salt. Why?
Because you don't need it. By drying it, you are concentrating the tomato flavour, so you don't need salt.
So a little bit of olive oil.
Oh, they are beautiful.
We call them in France "la pomme d'amour".
And of course, Italian romanticising even more than the French, call it the pomodoro.
It's interesting. And what do the English call it?
Tomato! Oh, quel dommage!
What a missed opportunity.
The tomatoes go into the oven at 100 degrees for two hours
to concentrate their sweetness, while Raymond starts the shallots.
Add a bit of olive oil.
They are braised whole with a few sprigs of thyme, some olive oil and enough water to cover.
And then, I'm going to add a bit of black pepper.
Where's the black pepper, Adam?
-Whole black pepper.
-Whole black pepper? Yes, chef, I'll get that.
Yeah. When you have a long cooking, use a whole black or white pepper to give a very mild pepper flavour.
Adam, vive la France, non? Don't feel like it today?
Adam. It's time that you mellow down, mon petit.
None of that nationalism.
Next, Raymond blends colourful kalamata olives with olive oil
and water, creating a striking vibrant olive puree.
Look at that. So stunning.
You will not get that colour if you use the normal black olives.
So now, we are going to do the onion puree. I'm not crying.
I've done so many onions in my life,
they are onion-proof. True.
Before they go in the pan, Raymond adds garlic cloves and sage to the onions.
I realise, actually, my pan is a bit on the small size, OK?
-That would cover it up and I would have a bit of a problem. Adam, please?
-Are you trying for me to fail miserably?
-No, chef. No.
That looks a lot, but you'll be amazed. It will go "psshhh".
About 200 grams of puree.
The onions sweat gently for 30 minutes over a low heat until their volume has reduced by half.
Next, after braising for 40 minutes, the shallots are sliced,
before Raymond lightly colours them for one minute, to caramelise their edges.
And of course, I use my sight, I use my nose, and I use my clock,
Look how beautiful they are.
So that can be prepared well in advance.
Notice, I'm getting much more technical.
The reduced onions and garlic are blended with 50 millilitres of olive oil until smooth and silky.
It's then gently heated through.
Now we are ready to bring together all of these elements onto one single dish.
A brushing of the olive paste forms a base for the caramelised shallots and punchy sun-dried tomatoes.
Then a warm layer of onion puree is spread underneath a sliver of slow-roasted shoulder...
..A rib of herb-encrusted lamb, and the liver, straight from the pan.
Oh, look at the colour of that jus.
I would like to introduce Sam. He's very shy.
He is a senior sous chef in my kitchen. OK, so shall we taste?
Of course, chef.
Lovely flavour, huh?
-Very, very nice.
-Aren't you in heaven?
So one out of ten, how much?
I reckon, all the components, very nice, definitely an eight and a half.
Oh, it's above seven, is it?
Even with liver.
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Celebrated chef Raymond Blanc welcomes the cameras back into his working Oxfordshire kitchen to share the culinary secrets he has collected and cherished over the past 35 years. The programme features a variety of recipes for cooks of all abilities that are inspiring and achievable.
In this episode Raymond shares his favourite mouth-watering lamb dishes. To start, succulent lamb's liver with caramelised potatoes and a dusting of traditional French seasoning. Shoulder of lamb is slow-roasted with garlic and herbs and served with an earthy potato and turnip gratin to create a hearty but melt-in-the-mouth meal.
Next Raymond returns to his roots with a truly French-inspired dish. Lamb Provencal sees a vivid, herb-encrusted rack of lamb accompanied by a juicy ratatouille. To finish, each tender cut of lamb comes together on one plate surrounded by lively vegetables and a rich tapenade to create a show-stopping finale.
Along the way Raymond travels to Hampshire to visit ex-Formula One champion Jody Sheckter who runs one of the country's only organic and biodynamic farms where he rears 800 sheep on his unique pastures. Raymond is invited to enjoy a feast of spit-roast lamb basted in his own harissa dressing.