Hurrah! It’s December, which can only mean one thing: Christmas is finally here!

To celebrate the countdown to the big day, FOUR will be sharing a recipe a day from now until Christmas with all of our readers! That means 24 of the finest recipes from FOUR – The World’s Best Food Magazine’s array of award-winning chefs from around the world, including Hong Kong’s very own Richard Ekkebus to Quiqui Dacosta in Spain.

Essex Lamb Bun

with sweetbreads & salsa verde

When publican Tom Kerridge took over The Hand and Flowers with his wife, Beth Kerridge, in 2005, the delightful but dead Marlow-based pub needed a little life injecting back into it. Today, after eight years of sheer hard work with Tom at the stove-side and Beth looking after front-of-house, the restaurant has achieved more than anyone could have imagined: two stars in the Great Britain & Ireland Michelin Guide 2014 and 3 AA rosettes - two of the most prestigious culinary awards around. 

To celebrate this prized British chef, we've decided to share his Essex Lamb Bun with sweetbreads & salsa verde recipe which featured in the latest UK edition of FOUR - The World's Best Food Magazine. 

Try it as a starter or make a meal out of it, by serving individual portions as an interesting alternative to Christmas turkey...




1 large rack lamb, French, trimmed

10 dark savoy cabbage leaves, blanched

150g crépinette, soaked in water overnight

1 lamb breast (bone in)

100g veal marrow, cleaned and soaked

75g lamb sweetbreads


50g flat parsley, blanched and chopped

15 anchovies

1 garlic clove

15 capers

½ shallot, diced

½ lemon zest

25g olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp cayenne pepper


750g lamb bones

2l good chicken stock

3 yolks for glazing

Oil for cooking


250g strong flour

50g polenta

½ tsp bicarbonate

½ tsp Maldon salt

75g lard, 1cm diced

90ml water



Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor, then add to Pacojet beaker and freeze. Once fully frozen, blend and reserve, ready for serving.


Roast lamb bones in the oven at 180C for 30-35 minutes until dark brown. Place the roast lamb bones in a suitably sized saucepan, add chicken stock and bring to the boil on a high heat. Then, reduce heat to a simmer until reduced by 1/3, skimming and discarding any excess fat from the top of the sauce. Once reduced by 1/3, strain into another pan and discard bones. Place back on the heat and reduce on a medium heat until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and chill, reserving 70g to mix with the bone marrow.


Cut lamb breast into 3 pieces down through the rib bones. In a large frying pan, warm a little oil on a high heat and carefully place the lamb piece in the pan. Sear until golden brown on the skin side, move, chill, then place in a Sous Vide bag with 200ml of chicken stock. Vacuum on full pressure and cook in a water bath at 90C for 8 hours. Remove from the bath and discard stock. When cool enough to handle, flake the meat away from the bone removing all the fat and sinew and keep warm.


Remove outer membrane and wash the sweetbreads. Dry off and place in a SousVide bag, vacuum at full pressure and cook in a water bath at 65C for 30 minutes, remove from the bath and chill in iced water. Once chilled, cut sweetbreads into 2cm dice and dust with flour. Heat a small amount of oil in a pan on a medium heat and fry until crispy, move from pan onto a tray and chill. Once chilled, add to the lamb breast mix.


Remove all the fat and sinew from the rack and scrape each bone clean with the back of a knife. Place in a Sous Vide bag vacuum on full pressure and cook in a water bath at 58C for 30 minutes. Remove and chill in iced water for 1 hour. Remove the lamb from the bag and portion into 4 cutlets. In a frying pan with oil on a high heat. Season the cutlet with salt, place in the hot pan and sear quickly on each side. When all cutlets are seared, chill in the fridge.


Place all dry ingredients in a food mixer, with the lard and mix to a crumb so all lard is incorporated. Once fully mixed, slowly add the water and mix for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pastry from the mixer onto a clean surface and bring together by hand. Divide into 4 and rest for 1 hour. Once rested, roll out to roughly 2mm in thickness.


Take 75g of the lamb breast. Mix and mould this evenly around the lamb cutlet, then cover this with the blanched savoy cabbage. Once this stage is completed, wrap in a single layer of crépinette.

To build the bun, take a lamb portion and pierce the centre of the rolled pastry with the bone from the cutlet. Then, slowly mould the pastry and the lamb discarding any excess pastry. Glaze the lamb with egg yolks and bake in the oven at 185C for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the lamb sauce and salsa verde on the side.