KESKEK BARLEY RISOTTO WITH PULLED LAMB AND BABY ONIONS

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INGREDIENTS
FOR THE BARLEY RISOTTO:
• 50 grams unsalted butter
• 150ml verjus
• 600 grams pearled barley
• 1liter chicken stock
• 100 grams shallots, finely diced
• 15 grams caraway seeds
• 150 grams chickpeas
• 10 grams garlic clove
FOR THE PULLED LAMB SHOULDER:
• 2kg lamb shoulder, bone in
• 2 each red onions, sliced
• 600ml lamb stock
• 60 grams pomegranate molasses
• 8 grams cumin seeds, ground
• 8 grams coriander, ground
• 10 grams roasted garlic, finely chopped
• 1each lemon, juice only
• 25ml grapeseed oil
• 15 grams castor sugar

DIRECTIONS
• For the risotto; soak the chickpeas overnight and marinate the lamb neck in the crushed caraway seed, also overnight.
• Add the meat and soaked chickpeas to a pot and cover with the chicken stock, bring to the boil then simmer until chickpeas are tender. Then transfer the chickpeas and meat to a clean pot.
• Clean the meat from the bones and shred.
• Melt the butter over medium heat, add finely chopped shallots and cook out for 1 to 2 minutes until translucent. Deglaze with verjus until reduced by 50 percent. Add the barley, stir to coat until barley absorbs most of the liquid. Reduce the heat and add the chicken stock until just covering the barley and stir until absorbed, repeat this, adding stock to barley a little at a time, waiting until barley absorbs stock. Stirring very often 25 to 30 minutes or until the barley is al dente. Add the shredded lamb and cooked chickpeas. Place on a tray to cool down and refrigerate until needed.
• For the pulled lamb; mix together the molasses, cumin, coriander, lemon, garlic, and oil. Pierce the lamb all over with a sharp knife, going in by about 1cm with your knife tip. Put the lamb in a big bowl and pour half the glaze over it, massage it over and in to the meat, turning it over so you have covered all of it. Marinate overnight.
•Place the lamb and onions in a vacuum bag and pour the rest of the glaze over the top of it. Then pour half of the stock around the lamb (not on it) and seal the bag fully and slow cook in a water bath at 72C degrees for 22 hours.
• After the lamb is cooked, place in a pan with all glaze and cook until the meat is beautifully glazed, remove and take the lamb out of the pan and place it on a dish or board. Cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes. While it’s resting, take the pan contents, which will be very oily and have black pieces of pomegranate molasses in, carefully drain off the oil leaving just the molasses and onions. Then place the pan on the hob with medium heat and add remaining stocks and start scraping the edges of the tray to get all the sticky deliciousness melting with the stock to create an intense gravy. It will be dark and shiny and once you’ve got everything from the edges and smooth gravy, add the tablespoon of sugar and turn the heat down to a light simmer. Letting it reduce by about half so its a sticky glaze.
• Take the rested lamb and put it in the reduced glaze, coat well and reserve for service.
• To serve; Re-heat the barley risotto, add the butter and correct the seasoning. Take approximately 180 grams of lamb and reheat in the oven with the onions with a little stock until hot. Place the risotto in the serving dish and arrange the onions and pulled lamb around the barley rice and drizzle over the remaining glaze.
• Garnish with pickled herbs and micro cress.

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