Old and New- Rumbledethumps and Sous Vide Lamb
I think many foodies have participated in themed dinners, cooking demos or wine tastings to create a bit of social alchemy in this new virtual world we now live in. In the past few months I have enjoyed dumpling, pizza, risotto and soufflé zoom cooking sessions with family and friends as well as a blind wine tasting with a neighbour, the half bottles carefully deposited at each other’s doorstep. In recently researching a Scottish meal for a birthday zoom I came across the dish rumbledethumps. It may be a bit of a mouthful to say but rumbledethumps is a surprisingly light vegetable combo of cabbage, onion, mash potato and Cheddar that goes well with roast or grilled meats. If you wish you can add a bit of boiled turnip (neeps) to the potatoes for even more Celtic authenticity. The dish lends itself to the zoom era as it can be prepared in advance, then popped into the oven until golden brown and can stay warm at the table for quite a while. I paired the olde worlde rumbledethumps with roast lamb which I cooked sous vide, in new age fashion. If you are a fan of master chef professional then you will be familiar with many of the chefs opting for the sous vide method of cooking meats low and slow in a vacuum bag submerged in a water bath. This method keeps the meat very succulent. Finishing off the cooked meat by quickly browning in a pan or on the BBQ gives you a nice caramelised crust as well as a succulent, medium-rare consistency across the entire piece, from crust to core, a combination impossible to achieve in an oven. With sous vide everyone can get the perfectly cooked slices. Apart from the taste and texture advantage, cooking a leg of lamb sous vide means you never dirty your oven with a smokey spitting roast. For the domestic setting an Anova immersion heater in a large pasta pot is your water bath and a simple snap lock bag and bull dog clip is all the technology one needs. There is no need for a professional vacuum sealer if you are not going to store the cooked items for a long time. I started the lamb at 7:30 am for a 7:30 pm dinner, so a 12 hour slow cook at 58°C for medium-rare lamb*. Check the Anova website for times and temperature settings for your cooking preferences. * For more information on food safety and cooking sous vide.
Rub the lamb with a couple of teaspoons of salt and place in a snap lock bag with garlic, rosemary and a liberal drizzle of olive oil. Immerse in the water and as the pressure of the water closes in around the bagged lamb and excludes the air, you then zip close the bag and clip it to the side of the pot. When ready to serve, tip out the meat juices and keep for a gravy and then brown the lamb on the BBQ for about 2 minutes on each side. Rest the meat as usual before carving. Enjoy a very succulent roast with the rumbledethumps.
For Two Hearty Highland Lads
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1/2 Savoy cabbage, sliced thinly
- 3 medium potatoes
- 2 turnips
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 100g Cheddar cheese
Sauté the onion the oil until golden, add the cabbage and toss with the onions. Place a lid on the frypan and let the cabbage soften. Boil the potatoes and turnips until tender and mash with a tablespoon or so of butter. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the mash through the softened cabbage and onion and place in a buttered shallow oven proof dish. Top liberally with grated Cheddar cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C. Serve with roast beef or lamb.