Yorkshire Life Article 12.01.2012
Victoria Vassallo, head chef at Chapters Hotel & Restaurant – Roast Lamb Rump & Rack
Head chef Victoria Vassallo doesn’t shy away from the views of her customers when it comes to menus and dishes she serves. She shares her recipe for Roast Lamb Rump & Rack
Chapters Hotel & Restaurant is an award winning hotel, restaurant, brasserie in the market town of Stokesley, at the foot of the North Yorkshire Moors. A peaceful retreat which is within 30 minutes drive from the centres of Middlesbrough, Darlington and county town Northallerton.
Owned by Steven Bell, the hotel is a unique and inspirational venue in a magnificent listed building; a former coaching inn, dating back 250 years, which has contemporary dcor combined with traditional elegance.
The restaurant at Chapters, is right for an evening dinner or a private group celebration, and is ideal for business, romance or entertaining friends. With its more relaxed atmosphere, beautiful artwork and contemporary decor, the brasserie at Chapters is great for lunch or evening dinner and guests who prefer a more relaxed and more laid-back dining experience.
Husband and wife team, general manager Victor and head chef Victoria Vassallo lead a strong team of professional staff. Victoria is a highly experienced head chef with extensive experience managing fine dining kitchens specialising in modern European menus. She has a cooking style which is all about passion, quality ingredients from local suppliers whenever possible and superb presentation. Menus are adapted to the season.
Asked what she likes most about her job, Victoria says without hesitation: Seeing customers happy. That gives me great job satisfaction, adding that she always comes into the restaurant and asks guests if theyve enjoyed their meal. I like to get feedback and to connect with customers, she explains.
Victor adds: Victoria will ask guests if theyve enjoyed the food whether shes made them a sandwich or a three course meal. Shes not afraid of criticism because whatever she has made, she knows she has done her best and put her passion into it.
Roast Lamb Rump & Rack
1 x 500g Rumps of Lamb.
1 x 600g Rack of Lamb trimmed
Braised Shoulder: 900g shoulder of lamb boned.
50g Dijon mustard.
50g Fresh thyme chopped.
50g Rosemary chopped.
250ml Red wine.
2 Litres of good lamb stock.
150g Lamb dripping. Seasoning
Pea & mint puree.
Curly kale trimmed.
Brush the shoulder of lamb with the garlic puree and half of the mustard, half of the chopped rosemary and thyme
Heat a medium sized roasting tray. Seal the shoulder on all sides, colouring well.
Deglaze with the 250ml of red wine and reduce to nothing.
Add the 2 Litres of lamb stock. Bring the stock to a simmer and cover lightly with foil and then braise in the oven at 150oc for around 2 hours until the meat is falling off.
Remove the shoulder from the stock and allow to cool slightly. Reserve half of the cooking liquor and reduce the rest until a good lamb flavour develops. Reserve to one side for the sauce.
Once cooled, pick the shoulder into thick strips. To this add the rest of the mustard, the lamb dipping and remaining chopped rosemary and thyme. Press the mix into a deep tray and then chill.
Once chilled, cut the lamb shoulder into four equal, long rectangles. Lightly flour and then pan fry on each side. Glaze a little using the lamb sauce.
For the rack and rump of lamb:
Sear the rack in hot oil until browned all over. Add the rump to the same pan and sear. Season both the rack and rump well and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 180oc.
Rest for 5 minutes.
Slice each of the rumps of lamb and place on top of the curly kale.
Put the rack of lamb next to the rump and the fondant potato.
Make a drop of pea puree and drizzle with the reduced sauce.