Flemish Chef Peter Goossens’ three-Michelin starred Hof Van Cleve offers reinterpreted, upscale versions of traditional Belgian dishes. Executive Chef Michaël Vrijmoed uses agar agar to elevate a hot lamb entrée, forming a lamb tongue “tortue style” terrine that is firm enough to be cut into cubes. The reduced lamb tongue broth is already gelatinous, even after the addition of gelatin. Agar agar allows the sheet of stewed tongue and mushrooms to be cut cleanly and evenly and still be served hot.
Each terrine cube is served in a porcelain hors d’oeuvres spoon, atop a pool of Madeira-laced reduction sauce. Brightened with parsley pesto, pine nut-Parmesan gremolata and egg emulsion sauce, this rich, tender spoonful serves as a teaser for the restaurant’s lamb entrée, Pyrenees Axuria Suckling Lamb, with Jerusalem Artichoke, Chicory, and Lemon.
Step 1: Stew soaked lamb tongues in lamb stock with aromatics for 2 to 3 hours. Step 2: Remove lamb tongues to cool. Peel, de-bone, and chop the tongues into a fine brunoise. Step 3: Reduce cooking liquid with more aromatics and mix with reduced Madeira. Step 4: Add agar agar to the reduction and whisk for 20 seconds. Remove from heat. Step 5: Mix in bloomed gelatin, chopped tongue, and mushrooms. Step 6: Rest tongue jelly in a lined baking sheet until set. Cut into cubes, heat and serve.