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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Dukkah Crusted Labne and Lamb Backstrap Pizza

An awesome ex-student of mine gave me some dukkah and lamb herbs for Christmas last year and I finally got around to using them. This was delicious and simple and I can thoroughly recommend giving it a go yourself. Labne is a cheese you make from yoghurt (seriously this only takes 10 minutes). The fiddliest part of this is rolling the cheese into balls and then dusting them but even then, that only takes 15 minutes. I made my own pizza bases here but I would imagine that using toasted Turkish bread or kebab bread would be just as great. The amount of oil used will seem terrifying but its only for marinating and can be re-used as part of a salad dressing, used in pesto (a nod to Tracey), or used in confit (a nod to JP). Next time I use dukkah, I think I am going to make my own. You will need to make the labne three days in advance.

1 kg natural yoghurt
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp salt for the labne
45g packet of dukkah (mine was lemon and herb)
1.5 litres of extra virgin olive oil
1 lamb backstrap
Lamb herbs
Individual pizza bases
Garlic oil
Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
A little red wine vinegar
Some fresh parsley

Combine the salt and crushed garlic for the labne into the yoghurt. Place a muslin wrap over a bowl doubled over, pour in the yoghurt. Bring the sides of the muslin wrap in and tie around a wooden spoon then hang in a bowl. Place in the fridge for three days re-adjusting the height of the bag if necessary so that the yoghurt is not sitting in the extracted liquid.

Remove the yoghurt from the hanging bag into a clean bowl. Pinch tablespoon sized quantities out and roll into a balls, place onto a clean plate. It helps if from time to time you rinse and dry your hands, the
yoghurt does become sticky. Roll each cheese ball in the labne then place carefully into another clean bowl, throw in a little fresh parsley then cover with the olive oil.

Pre-heat an oven to 180C. Paint the pizza bases with garlic oil, sprinkle on some chopped parsley, grate over some parmesan then top with a little mozzarella. Bake until they have great colour.

Season the lamb fillet with some lamb herbs, salt and pepper. Sear on a barbecue to your liking (mine were rare). Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes under some foil then slice very thinly. While this is happening dress the rocket in some garlic oil, some more grated parmesan and a little red wine vinegar.

Smear a labne ball on a pizza base, load up some lamb and rocket then tuck in.

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