We’ve pinned Nick down to grill him (no pun intended) on The Miller’s favourite dishes. We start with his Wiltshire Hogget Lamb with Jerusalem Artichoke and Lamb Ragu Hotpot.
What do you love about this dish?
Its simple to look at on the plate and that hides the amount of work that goes into making it taste nice. It really is a special dish to create and I’m really proud of the positive feedback we receive about it.
What was the inspiration for the dish?
Naturally the season and supply chain for the lamb makes it an optimal dish for a spring menu. Because I like to maximise the use of an ingredient, it also provides an opportunity to do that while bringing together a combination of skills.
What techniques are used for any particular elements of the dish?
The hot pot is a classic ragu, made with shoulder and belly lamb with thin slices of crispy potato on the top. The centrepiece of the dish, the loin (saddle), is marinated with olive oil, rosemary and thyme and then slowly cooked in a water bath, so it’s cooked at a controlled and precise temperature for an extended period. This produces perfectly succulent mouthfuls of beautiful British lamb. The sauce is made from roasted lamb mince, roasted lamb bones, carrots, onions, star anise and water – but we’ll keep the details to ourselves!
What flavour combinations are at play?
I like to try to hit all four flavour senses, salt, sour, sweet and bitter. If you hit all four you get the fifth sense: Umami.
Pickled red cabbage puree takes the sour/sweet. Natural sweetness comes from the Jerusalem artichokes and savoy cabbage. Bitter/sweet comes from confit Roscoff onions and then there’s the actual lamb taste from the meat and sauce. We use mint oil on top of the lamb loin to hit everyone’s lamb and mint sauce food memory!
How does the dish reflect The Miller’s food ethos / why is this a Miller favourite dish?
Everything is sourced carefully and within the right seasons. It tells the story of everything we take into consideration when working on a dish.