For deep-frying:vegetable oilLamb scrumpets1.3 kgpiece of lamb breast, bone in, cut into 48golden shallots8garlic cloves4thyme sprigs375 mlwhite wine1.5 litreschicken stock150 gm (1 cup)plain flour5eggs, beaten240 gm (2 cups)fresh fine white breadcrumbsPork scratchings800 gm piecepork skin (see note)2 tbspsea salt flakesMint vinegar250 ml (1 cup)red wine vinegar110 gm (½ cup)caster sugar2 tbspfinely chopped mint1½ tbspfinely chopped golden shallots
For pork scratchings, preheat oven to 110C. Cook pork skin in salted water over medium-high heat until very tender (1 hour). Drain, cool slightly, then scrape off as much fat as possible. Score skin, place flat, skin-side up, on a wire rack, season with salt, then bake until skin cracks (8-10 hours). Cool slightly, then break into pieces.
Meanwhile, for lamb scrumpets, heat a frying pan over high heat. Season lamb with salt, sear all sides, turning often, until golden (4-6 minutes), then transfer to a casserole. Add shallots and garlic to frying pan, stir occasionally until caramelised (3-5 minutes). Add thyme, deglaze pan with wine and transfer to casserole. Add stock to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, braise in oven until meat can be easily removed from bones (2½-3 hours). Discard shallots, garlic and thyme, cool in liquid until just above room temperature (2-3 hours). Remove lamb (discard liquid), place on baking paper. Remove bones and gristle, keeping pieces intact and as much juice and fat in the meat as possible. Reshape pieces, refrigerate until set (1-2 hours). Cut into 1.5cm x 7cm pieces, set aside. Place flour and eggs in separate bowls, season to taste. Place breadcrumbs on a tray, then, working with one scrumpet at a time, dust with flour, dip in egg, then breadcrumbs, shake off excess. Refrigerate until required.
For mint vinegar, bring vinegar and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, cool, stir through mint and shallot.
Preheat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided frying pan to 175C. Deep-fry scratchings until crisp (1-2 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit). Drain on absorbent paper. Deep-fry scrumpets, in batches, until golden (3-5 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit), drain on absorbent paper and season with salt. Serve scrumpets with mint vinegar, and scratchings separately.
Note You’ll need to order pork skin in advance from your butcher.
This recipe is from the June 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.