Ingredients

FOR THE KŪMARA PURÉE
2 or 3 big kūmara
olive oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
250ml vegetable stock
FOR THE PICKLED KŪMARA
400ml water
450ml rice wine vinegar
100g sugar
peel of 1 lemon, white pith removed
peppercorns, juniper berries, star anise
5 sprigs thyme
1 large kūmara
FOR THE STEAMED BABY KŪMARA
8 baby kūmara
sunflower seeds, to serve
FOR THE LAMB RACK
4 whole lamb racks
200-300g caul fat
150ml olive oil, plus a little extra
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, diced
4 sticks celery, diced
200g mushrooms, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
6 cloves garlic
10 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
a splash red wine vinegar
200ml red wine
80g butter, cold
3-4 tablespoons of rice koji (I used Urban Hippie brand)
I wanted to add a fermented touch to this dish, which comes from the rice koji. The natural sweetness of the kūmara is kept in balance by including a pickled element.

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Instructions

1.KŪMARA PURÉE
2.Wash, peel and dice the kūmara.
3.Put the oil into a hot pan, then add the kūmara and sugar and start caramelising on a low heat.
4.When it starts to stick to the pan, add the vegetable stock and cover, cooking until tender.
5.Put into a blender, season with salt and blend until smooth.
6.PICKLED KŪMARA
7.For the pickling liquid, put the water, vinegar, sugar, lemon peel, peppercorns, juniper berries, star anise and thyme in a pot and bring to the boil.
8.Remove from the heat, let it rest for 30 minutes then strain.
9.Peel the kūmara and slice it on a mandolin, each slice about 3mm thick, then cut into matchsticks.
10.Bring a pan of water to the boil, then blanch the kūmara for 3 seconds and refresh in iced water.
11.Strain and place the kūmara into the bowl of pickling liquid.
12.Leave to pickle for about 2 hours.
13.STEAMED BABY KŪMARA
14.Peel the kūmara and steam in a bamboo steamer for about 35 minutes until soft inside.
15.Heat the oven to 80°C.
16.Put the kūmara in the oven to dry for 30 minutes.
17.Season with a touch of oil and salt; also a touch of maple would not hurt.
18.Sprinkle with deep-fried, crushed sunflower seeds.
19.LAMB RACK
20.Separate the lamb fillets from the bones.
21.Roll the fillets in caul fat and set aside.
22.Roast the bones in the oven at 200°C until nicely brown and caramelised (about 45 minutes).
23.Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, 3 sprigs of the thyme and the bay leaf and cook gently to caramelise, about 15 minutes.
24.Add the roasted bones and the red wine vinegar and boil until the vinegar has evaporated.
25.Add the red wine and let the alcohol evaporate for a minute.
26.Cover with water and simmer the stock for a good 3-4 hours.
27.Strain and then reduce until you get a nice brown colour.
28.Heat the oven to 200°C.
29.Put a touch of oil in a very hot pan with the remaining garlic and thyme and caramelise the lamb fillets on both sides for about 3 minutes in total.
30.Transfer to the oven for about 3 minutes, then rest until you are ready to serve.
31.To serve, reheat the lamb by cooking in melted butter in a preheated pan for about 2 minutes, then slice and season with salt.
32.Place on the plate with the whole baby kūmara, the kūmara purée and the pickled kūmara.
33.Season the lamb sauce with the rice koji, then cover the fillets with sauce and place some more in the centre of the plate.

Recipes & food styling Grant Allen & Giada Grilli / Photography Tony Nyberg / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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