Chef Sam Woodfill
Catering by Design
Korean-style bulgogi is traditionally made with beef. And banh mi sandwiches usually feature pork. For this mash-up, chef Sam Woodfill swaps in cost-effective lamb neck as the protein and stuffs the braised meat into wonton wrappers instead of crusty rolls. To tenderize this cut of lamb, it is soaked in a sweet-salty marinade made with ginger, garlic, pears, honey and soy sauce before simmering for two hours or until it falls off the bone.
Calabrian Chili Lemon Aioli
3 large egg yolks
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 cups canola oil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
3 tbsp. pureed Calabrian hot chili peppers
Kosher salt, to taste
5 lb. lamb neck (1 in.-thick cross-section) or shanks
2 Anjou pears, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion
7 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. honey
3 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
4 oz. soy sauce
3 oz. minced peeled garlic
2 oz. green onions, chopped
1 oz. sesame seeds
2 oz. canola oil
1 cup mirin
1 qt. lamb or beef stock
Banh Mi Egg Rolls
1½ lb. cooked lamb bulgogi
½ qt. pickled julienned carrots
½ qt. chopped cilantro
½ qt. sliced green onions
½ qt. chopped roasted cashews
Vegetable oil for frying
50 wonton wrappers
1. Prepare aioli: In food processer using blade attachment, add eggs; process on high until egg yolks thicken, about 2 minutes. Stop motor; add a few drops of lemon juice. Process until yolks thicken more, about 2 minutes.
2. With motor running, slowly add oil in a thin stream. As aioli thickens, slowly add remaining lemon juice. Resume adding oil, along with lemon juice and vinegar. Stop motor; add garlic. Add lemon juice or vinegar as needed. Add chili puree; process until incorporated. Add salt if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Prepare lamb: In blender, combine carrots, pears, onion, sugar, honey, ginger root, soy sauce, garlic, green onion and sesame seeds; blend until smooth. In a bowl, pour mixture over lamb necks; marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.
4. Remove lamb from marinade; pat dry with paper towels. Reserve marinating liquid.
5. Over medium-high heat, add oil to a large rondo. Sear lamb on all sides. Deglaze pan with mirin. Pour marinade back into rondeau; add stock and bring to a simmer. Cover rondeau with lid or foil. Braise at 275 F for 2 hours or until meat falls off bone. Remove from oven and let cool. Remove lamb meat from bones and reserve.
6. Prepare egg rolls: Place a wonton wrapper flour-side up; spray lightly with water. Place ½ ounce lamb in the middle of wonton. Place a pinch of carrots, cilantro, onion and cashew on top of lamb. Ensuring wrapper edges are moist, roll wonton up like a burrito.
7. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350 F. On parchment-lined sheet pan, lay wontons flat; do not let wontons touch. Fry at 350 F for 2 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm, with aioli.
Photo courtesy of American Lamb Board