By Samuel Cole – Head Chef of Blanca Dining, Sydney.
With impressive backgrounds working in some of the best restaurants abroad and in Sydney, chefs Tomi Bjorck and Samuel Cole have now joined forces and opened Blanca. Both chefs’ travels and diversity come together in a unique way, creating a menu combining Mediterranean and Japanese flavours and techniques.
2 medium cucumbers (slice 5 mm - 8 mm thick)
1 shiso leaf (finely sliced)
250 g yoghurt (hung for 5 days in the fridge)
Pinch of rock salt
1 tbsp sugar
Lamb sauce with harissa
2 kg lamb bones
5 litres water
1 bunch rosemary
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
Hoisin sauce to taste
Harissa to taste
Light soy to taste
Sherry vinegar to taste
1 red pepper
5 long red chilli (seeded)
10 dried red chilli (seeded and blanched in water)
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
1 tbsp caraway seeds (toasted and ground)
80 ml olive oil
300 g chickpeas (soaked and cooked)
125 g tahini
2 garlic cloves
1tbsp lemon juice
25 ml olive oil
25ml sesame oil
75ml cooking water from the chickpeas
50 g toasted sesame seeds
1 whole 8-9 pin lamb rack cap off
Mix the cucumbers with the salt and sugar and leave out at room temperature for 20 minutes
. Wash the cucumber and dry them with a clean towel then mix the shiso and yogurt all together.
Lamb sauce with harissa
Roast rosemary, bones, onion and carrot at 200°C for one hour then add the veggies and bones to a pot with the water and simmer them for five hours. Then strain the liquid through a fine sieve, return to a clean pot and reduce the remaining liquid down to 700 ml and allow it to fully cool overnight.
Once set, remove the layer of fat from the top and bring back to a simmer.
Season with the hoisin, harissa, light soy and sherry vinegar gradually, one small spoon at a time until you are happy with the flavour.
Roast peppers, garlic and chilli at 200°C for 20-25 minutes then place the vegetables into the blender. Blend into a smooth paste then add all the dry ingredients and blend again. Finally, blend in the oil gradually.
Place the garlic, lemon juice, salt into the food processor and blend the mix until smooth. Add the chickpeas and blend for six to eight minutes, turning off the machine and mixing every two minutes to ensure it is evenly blended. Spice grind the toasted sesame seeds into a powder and add to the processor along with the tahini, sesame oil, olive oil and continue to blend together. While blending pour the reserved chickpea water into the machine until desired you have your desired consistency .
If time is an issue you can use chickpeas and the water from a can.
Have all garnishes ready before cooking the lamb. I recommended a high-quality organic lamb, I use Milly Hill at my restaurant Blanca in Bondi Beach. You need one whole eight to nine pin lamb rack cap off and rub the outside with harissa paste. Place on the grill covering the bones with foil to stop it from burning and cracking. Allow the lamb rack to become slightly black on all sides then place it on an oven tray. Place in the oven at 80°C and cook it slowly, checking the temperature using a thermometer every four to eight minutes until the core is evenly cooked between 50-52°C. Now return to the grill for just 30 seconds on each side before cutting each rack individually off, seasoning it with salt and pepper then serve.