(Adapted from “Pickled Kale Lamb” by Daniel Serra and Hanna Tunberg; An Early Meal: A Viking Age Cookbook and Odyssey; reprinted with permission)
For the Lamb:
- 1 Lamb Breast
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 6-8 ounces sauerkraut (I used a live culture mix of sauerkraut and arame)
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 cups of mead (or use white wine with 1Tbsp honey for each cup)
- 1-2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, oregano)
For the Turnip Purée:
- 1 pound of peeled turnips, quartered
- Reserved cooking liquid
- 12 ounces of mixed seasonal greens
- ¼ cup garlic scapes or 2 cloves, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp butter
For the Lamb:
Lay the breast cap side down, after removing any excess fat. The meat fibers should be running left to right across the width of the breast. Season with the cumin and coriander. Spread the mustard over the flesh and then spread the sauerkraut on top of that. Reserve any liquid from the sauerkraut. Season with salt and pepper.
Roll the lamb toward you, tightly tucking in each layer. Tie off with butcher twine. Heat some oil over medium high heat until smoking. Add the lamb breast and cook each side until browned; approximately 2 minutes per side.
In a Dutch oven or other oven proof deep baking vessel, add any remaining liquid from the sauerkraut. Add mead and chicken stock (1:2) so that the liquid comes up ¾ of the way to the top of the lamb breast. Add the bouquet garni and allow to rest several hours to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Add the turnips and bake for several hours (4-6), turning as needed.The meat should be fork tender.
Remove the lamb breast and allow to rest. Remove the bouquet garni and discard. Remove the turnips and reserve. Run the cooking liquid through a strainer to remove any debris.
Using a fat separator, remove as much fat as possible. Alternatively, you can cool the liquid and remove the solidified fat if not serving immediately.
In a food processor, add the turnips, 1 Tbsp of butter and drizzle the cooking liquid in until the mixture is a smooth, gravy like consistency. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter. To that add the scapes and cook until browned, or if using minced garlic cook until softened. Add the greens and cook quickly until just wilted; 1 to 2 minutes.
To serve, assemble the greens on the base and slice the lamb breast crosswise. Top with a drizzle of the purée and garnish.