Monday, 5 August 2013

Week 28 - Rack of Lamb

We have recently found a wholesale butcher that sold lamb racks for $13.99 per kilo! So we just had to snap some up and enjoy on a sunday evening. Lamb racks are just so special and really do not need much in the way of marinating, keep it simple and just don't overcook the meat! This recipe turned out so well, I loved the different sides and the family style platter.

Book: 30 Minute Meals

Recipe: Spring Lamb, Vegetable Platter, Mint Sauce and Chanti Gravy (I did not do the chocolate fondue) 


Serves 6

For The Lamb

1 quality 8-bone rack of lamb, fat removed
1 2-piece pack quality lamb neck fillet, approximately 250g
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
white wine vinegar
300 g cherry tomatoes on the vine

For The Gravy

4 rashers higher-welfare smoked bacon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
½ glass red wine

For The Vegetables

500 g baby new potatoes
250 g baby carrots
1 bunch fresh mint, stalks of
1 organic chicken stock cube
200 g fine beans
200 g runner beans
½ Savoy cabbage
200 g frozen peas
1 knob butter
½ lemon

For The Mint Sauce

1 bunch fresh mint, leaves from
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar

For The Seasonings

olive oil
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
black pepper


Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Put a large frying pan and a large saucepan on a high heat. Fill and boil the kettle. Turn the oven on to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Halve the rack of lamb, then season with salt & pepper and add to the frying pan with a lug of olive oil.

Wash the potatoes and trim the tops of the carrots. Add everything to the large saucepan with a pinch of salt. Rip the leafy tops off the bunch of mint and put aside for the mint sauce. Make sure the band is still around the stalks, then add them to the saucepan. Just cover with boiled water and crumble in the chicken stock cube. Put the lid on.

Drizzle olive oil straight into the pack of neck fillet and season. Turn the racks of lamb then put the two neck fillets in the pan. Sear the ends of the meat and keep coming back to the pan and turning each piece so they brown all over.

Pull the leaves off 3 sprigs of rosemary and put into a pestle & mortar with a good pinch of salt & pepper. Peel the garlic, add to the mortar, and pound really well. Turn the lamb over. Add Dijon mustard to the mortar with a good couple of lugs of olive oil and a swig of white wine vinegar. Mix well.

Make sure all sides of the lamb are seared, then use tongs to transfer all of it to a roasting tray. Pour away most of the fat in the pan, then put it back on a very low heat for the gravy. Spoon the dressing from the pestle & mortar over the lamb and put the vines of cherry tomatoes on top. Move everything around until well coated in the dressing. Sprinkle with salt, then whack on the top shelf of the oven and set the timer for 14 minutes for blushing to medium meat, slightly less for rare, and more for well done. Turn the racks over halfway through.

Finely slice the bacon and put into the frying pan. Finely chop the reserved mint leaves and add to the unwashed pestle & mortar. Pound, then add the red wine vinegar, caster sugar, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of cooking water from the veg pot. Muddle together with the pestle, have a taste to check the balance, and add a tiny splash of extra virgin olive oil. Take to the table with a spoon.

Turn the heat under the bacon right up and add the leaves from the rosemary. Stir in the flour, red wine and a few ladles of cooking water. Trim all the beans and put the runner beans through a runner bean slicer or slice at an angle, 1cm thick. Cut the Savoy cabbage half in two and click off any fatty outer leaves, then discard the stalk. Cut the cabbage into thin wedges. Add the cabbage, beans and peas to the saucepan, then stir and put the lid back on.

Turn the lamb over. If your tomatoes are colouring too much, lean the meat on top of them. Stir in a spoonful of cooking water if needed.

When the 14 minutes are up, take your lamb out of the oven and leave it to rest for a minute. Drain the veg in a colander, then return them to the pan. Drizzle well with extra virgin olive oil, and add a good pinch of salt & pepper and a knob of butter. Squeeze over the juice of ½ a lemon and toss well. Tip on to a large serving platter and take to the table.

Taste and correct the seasoning, then pour into a gravy boat and take to the table.

Cut the racks into individual chops and slice up the neck fillet. Pile on a platter. Move most of the cherry tomatoes to the platter on top of the lamb, mushing the rest into the cooking juices. Stir in a good lug of extra virgin olive oil, then drizzle over the platter and serve.

Changes Made: I forgot to get the neck from the butcher.

Results: Everything a lamb rack should be! Lamb was cooked perfectly and the mint sauce has the perfect amount of kick from the vinegar. 

Next Time: The neck would have been a nice variation in the meat,

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