Before Mark Best closed his Sydney restaurant Marque in 2016, it was considered one of Australia’s best fine diners.
Victor Liong, who went on to run his own restaurants – Melbourne’s Lee Ho Fook and Sydney’s Chuuka – spent three years working in the kitchen at the formidable restaurant, and when Best decided to close it, Liong wrote an ode to the place for Broadsheet.
“We were cooking some of the country’s most fearless and exciting food – I knew I was a part of something great, that we were the very tip of the spear,” he wrote.
Since then, Best has starred on Netflix’s The Final Table, opened Bistro by Mark Best on luxury ship Genting Dream and become an ambassador for AEG Australia products, among a bunch of other things.
He’s created an Easter lamb dish for Broadsheet, which is not hard to make – although you do need to set aside a couple hours to roast the lamb properly.
“This slight twist on the festive family roast adds a level of delicious complexity, accompanied by a salad that brings a subtle interplay between the sweet beetroot, umami savouriness of the soy and bitterness of the chicory,” he says.
Mark Best’s Easter lamb with beetroot and chicory salad
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2.5 hours, plus resting
1.5kg leg of lamb
30g fresh ginger
30g fresh garlic cloves
50ml sesame oil
10g sea salt
15g Korean chilli flakes
20ml Japanese soy
6 medium beetroots
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp Japanese soy
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic
1 bunch chicory
Remove the lamb from the refrigerator 1 hour before preparation – this will allow for more even cooking. Preheat your oven to 160°C (I use the AEG Steampro Oven).
Add the ginger and garlic to a mortar and pestle, and grind to a fine paste with the sesame oil. Add the chilli flakes and the soy to form a loose paste. Evenly score the fat of the lamb to a depth of 5mm and rub the paste marinade over evenly.
Put the lamb into a heavy-based roasting pan and cook for around 2.5 hours, basting the meat with its fat from time to time. Cook the lamb to your preferred temperature (I prefer medium, 65–70°C, for the best flavour and texture).
Remove the meat from the oven to rest for 20–30 minutes prior to serving.
For the salad, wash the beetroots under running water. Wrap each in a square of baking paper and then a sheet of foil. Place into the oven along with the lamb and test for tenderness with a skewer after 2 hours. If tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.
Remove the skins using the baking paper they roasted in. Slice roughly into a salad bowl and season with black pepper. Add the soy, olive oil and balsamic and toss through. Wash the chicory well and drain. Toss with the beetroot
To serve, carve the lamb and drizzle some juices from the pan over the meat, and add the salad on the side.
Looking for more cooking inspiration? Vist Broadsheet’s extensive recipe hub.