I made these dumplings as part of a birthday banquet for my husband last week. A banquet which ended with this cake. I'll admit, there's a long list of ingredients and they are a little bit fiddly to make. But this is celebration food and it's the least I can do for the man who waits patiently every day for his food to be photographed within an inch of its life before he gets to eat it... even on his birthday.
Master Stock Lamb Steamed Dumplings
Inspired by Teage Ezard and Chris Donnellan's Gingerboy
For the Master Stock:
3 litres water
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
Small bunch coriander leaves and stems
1/2 cup soy sauce
100ml Shaoxing rice wine
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
A thumb-size piece of fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
5 whole star anise toasted
125g brown sugar
1 tablespoons white peppercorns
For the Dumplings:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1kg lamb shoulder (bone in)
30 wonton wrappers
For the Curry Paste:
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
5cm piece fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stem, white part only, roughly chopped
3 tablespoon black rice vinegar
2 small hot red chillies, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon toasted Sichuan peppercorns
For the Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon black rice vinegar
Make the Dipping Sauce:
Combine the soy and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan. Sear the lamb on all sides until golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Master Stock Lamb:
Put all the master stock ingredients into a large stock pot and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Lower the seared lamb into the master stock. Cover with a sheet of baking paper, making sure the paper sits directly on top of the liquid. Braise in the oven for 2 hours or until the lamb is very soft and tender. Remove the lamb from the stock and let it cool slightly. Take 2 cups of strained master stock and put it into a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat and allow to reduce until you have about 100ml of thick, syrupy stock. Set aside.
Make the Curry Paste:
Put all the curry paste ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
Make the Dumplings:
Shred the cooled lamb with two forks. Add the reduced stock and the curry paste. Mix well. refrigerate for about 30 minutes to get the mixture cold. It will be easier to work with if it's cool.
Lay the wonton wrappers out on a work surface. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling into the centre of each wrapper. Dip you finger into some water and run it along the edges of the wrappers. Fold the wrappers into a triangle and press the edges together firmly. Dab a little water onto a corner of the triangle and fold it to join with the other corner, creating a hat shape. Continue until you have 30 dumplings.
Line a steamer with baking paper and steam the dumplings for 15 minutes.
Serve with dipping sauce and lime wedges.