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Tea-Smoked Lamb Loin with Radish and Celery Salad

From: Chef Bill Kim, UrbanBelly, Chicago

2 cups salt
2 cups Szechuan peppercorns
3 lb. lamb loin
½ cup dried green tea
½ cup flour
½ cup white rice
½ cup sugar
2 lb. radishes
¼ lb. celery
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups vegetable oil
¼ cup garlic, minced
¼ cup shallot, minced
¼ cup fish sauce
to taste, ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch watercress
12 mint leaves

To make the cure: Toast the salt and peppercorns in a large sauté pan on medium heat until mixture smokes. Allow to cool. Place a cooling rack on top of a half sheet tray. Rub lamb loin with cure. Set on top of a rack and sheet tray and allow to rest, refrigerated, for 4 hours. While lamb is curing, prepare smoke mixture by whisking together green tea, flour, white rice and sugar.

To make salad: Prepare by quartering radishes and chopping celery on the bias in ¼” pieces. Prepare salad dressing by whisking together lemon juice, vegetable oil, garlic, shallot, fish sauce and ground black pepper to taste. Dress combination of radish and celery to allow to marinate.

To tea-smoke: At end of resting time, rinse cure off lamb and return to rack. Line large sauté pan with two layers of aluminum foil. Add smoke mixture and heat on medium-high for about 3 minutes or until smoke forms. Place lamb on rack over pan and loosely cover with foil. Allow lamb to smoke for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from sauté pan and allow to cool. Heat immersion circulator to 125°F. Vacuum seal lamb loin in pouch, along with olive oil and garlic; cook sous vide for approximately 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 125°F.

Shortly before lamb is finished cooking, strain and reserve dressing from radish and celery mixture. Pick watercress from stem and combine with radish, celery and mint.

Remove lamb from pouch and sear in a hot pan for approximately 1½ minutes on each side. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice and top with salad. Top with some of the reserved dressing.

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