Masterchef: The Professionals 2020 winner Alex Webb puts a twist on traditional Easter lamb with a coffee-inspired dish
Reigning Masterchef: The Professionals champion Alex Webb has brewed up the perfect dish to enjoy this Easter.
The acclaimed chef, who won the latest series of the hit BBC One TV show in December, has put a twist on spring lamb by bringing his love of coffee to the table.
And he promises his coffee-infused lamb dish with wild garlic and rosemary, served with a sharing cassoulet, will take your Easter cooking to the next level.
Alex was formerly head chef at Square 1 in Dunmow, the High Street restaurant where he started his culinary career as a schoolboy kitchen hand, but he is now ready to run his own business.
He said: "So many people consume coffee on a daily basis but never like this. I'm a huge advocate of using coffee more in main dishes and starters as well as just for cakes and ice creams.
"Lamb is a famous Easter tradition, and the infusion of my signature coffee rub goes beautifully with wild garlic, which is in season at the moment and available from most supermarkets or greengrocers.
"And the cassoulet is perfect for sharing on a nice big plate with your loved ones on a balmy spring evening as the rule of six makes a return for outside areas."
Alex, who went to Helena Romanes School in Great Dunmow, wowed judges Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace with three courses combining classic techniques with a fun twist in the Masterchef: The Professionals final, which was screened just before Christmas. Wareing, who holds a Michelin star at his eponymous Knightsbridge restaurant, declared Alex "the future of cooking".
Alex, who uses Coffee Friend-brand coffee in his Easter recipe, said: "Spring lamb is very light and tender, often with a milder flavour to traditional lamb. Coffee brings a wonderful depth of flavour, which will bring out an earthiness to the dish alongside the olive oil for extra freshness.
"The more the lamb cooks, the more flavours you will taste in your coffee rub alongside the meat juices, garlic and rosemary, so I've devised something extra-special to finish off your dish.
"Usually, you would finish off your meat with a little bit of salt as the flavours are all on the outside for when you carve, but I've devised a unique coffee salt mixture to really take the lamb the extra mile.
"All you do is mix some ground coffee with some fine sea salt and sprinkle it over your lamb, giving it a gorgeous colour and providing a different type of coffee flavour to your rub.
"Serve your lamb with the light sharing cassoulet and buttery asparagus for an Easter feast with a twist."
To find out more about Coffee Friend, visit www.coffeefriend.co.uk/c/coffee.
Alex Webb's recipe for Easter Spring Lamb with Coffee Rub and Sharing Cassoulet
- 100g ground coffee
- 50ml olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 500-800g spring lamb shoulder
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 sticks celery, sliced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 100ml white wine
- 250g butter beans
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 200g butter, diced
- Wild garlic, sliced
- 1 lemon – zest and juice
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 300ml white wine
- To make the rub, take 100g of ground coffee and mix together with the garlic powder, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Take the lamb shoulder, score the fat and cover with the rub.
- Place two sprigs of rosemary, two sprigs of thyme and half a garlic bulb in a baking tray and place the lamb on top.
- Put into the oven for 20 minutes at 190C and pour in 200ml of white wine. Turn the heat down to 180C and cook for 30 minutes per 500g.
- For the cassoulet, put the diced shallot, celery, carrot and garlic in a medium pan and sweat on a medium heat for five to eight minutes.
- Add 100ml of white wine and then add the drained butter beans and vegetable stock.
- Mix in the diced butter to the mixture until it turns creamy then add the sliced wild garlic, juice and lemon zest and season to taste.
- Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for two to three minutes, drain then add butter and salt.
- To serve, remove the lamb from the oven and rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the cassoulet into a large serving dish, slice the rested lamb and place the asparagus around the lamb with a few wild garlic leaves.
- To finish, mix half a teaspoon of coffee with some fine sea salt and sprinkle over the lamb.