Roasted Aussie Lamb Sandwich with Fontina, Sweet Peppers and Harissa Mayo
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alex Hoefer
Sponsor: True Aussie Beef & Lamb
- 1 c balsamic vinegar
- 3 c extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 sprigs rosemary
- 9 Australian legs of lamb, shanks removed, H bones removed
- Kosher salt, as needed
- Fresh ground black pepper, as needed
- 5 lbs multicolored baby sweet peppers
- ½ c sherry vinegar
- ½ c water
- 2 oz granulated sugar
- 2 sprigs oregano, leaves chopped fine
- 3 c milk
- 1 c heavy cream
- 2 lbs fontina cheese, shredded or feathered (see Chef Notes)
- ½ c harissa paste
- 3 c Duke’s mayonnaise (or preferred brand)
- 25 ciabatta rolls, sandwich-size square loaf will work
- 3 red onions, peeled and shaved paper thin
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix marinade ingredients and place in large resealable or vacuum bags with prepared lamb meat. Let marinate for at least 8 hours.
- Remove lamb from bags and tie into roasts for even cooking. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting rack on a sheet pan so they are elevated. Roast until they reach an internal temp of 125 degrees F for medium-rare doneness. Let rest and cool.
- Roast peppers until the skins are colored and wrinkled. This can be done over an open flame as well. Place in a stainless bowl and cover with wrap to steam. Peel the peppers and remove the stems. Give them a light, rough chop.
- Add the vinegar, water, sugar and oregano to the peppers and let them marinate.
- In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk and cream until simmering. Whisk in the cheese to create a thick cheese sauce. (As an option, grind a bit of nutmeg into this.) Season the cheese sauce with a pinch of kosher salt.
- Mix harissa paste and mayonnaise together and reserve for building the sandwiches. (I recommend doing this a day ahead of time in order to let the flavors get to know each other a bit and become more of a homogenous spread.)
- Split rolls in half and toast lightly.
- Slice the cooled lamb on a deli slicer or by hand so that it is thin but not shaved. You should get 4 to 5 sandwiches per leg (about 4 ½ ounces of meat per order), depending on sizes of legs.
- To build the sandwiches, spread the mayo on both top and bottom sides of bread. Place the meat on bottom (I heat the meat on a flat top griddle with a splash of water for steam), add some shaved red onion, a spoonful of the pepper mixture, top with the warm cheese sauce, and place the roll tops on. Cut in half from corner to corner.
The sandwich holds up well in a hot box for about 30 minutes. For the fontina, try to find younger and softer versions.
From the Best of Flavor 2022 issue of Flavor & The Menu, for chefs and menu developers. Read full issue online.