Herb Crusted Lamb Rack & Pea Purée
My wonderful parents celebrated their 30th Wedding Anniversary and I wanted to spoil them rotten to celebrate the occasion. I planned an elaborate 3 course meal with old favourites and some new flavours. The phyllo parcel starters were followed by this lamb dish which I tried to plate as beautifully as possible and pair the hero (lamb rack) with thoughtfully prepared accompaniments that allowed the dish to sing.
This is a quite a long, involved cook that can be arduous but is great for celebrating someone special to you.
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Stress Inducing
12 Rib Lamb Rack (frenched and trimmed)
2 Rosemary Sprigs
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper
400g Frozen/Fresh Peas
1 Garlic Clove
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Salt & Pepper
Quarter of a medium pumpkin
12 Baby Carrots
1 Large Red Onion
500ml Chicken Stock
10 Sprigs Rosemary
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
6 Cloves Garlic
50ml Olive Oil
Peels of the carrots and onions used above
5 Sprigs Rosemary
100ml Olive Oil
300ml Lamb Stock
300ml Red Wine
4 Tbsp Tahini
Juice of Half a Lemon
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Season the racks with salt & pepper all over liberally. Heat oil in a skillet/ovenproof pan and sear each side of the rack. You want it to look dark brown from the sear.
Once all sides are sealed add the butter, rosemary sprigs and garlic clove (slightly crush so they open) to the pan and baste the rack with the butter as it infuses. Do this for 3 minutes then place the pan in the preheated oven for 8 minutes.
While the lamb is cooking, add the breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley and rosemary in a food processor and blitz to a fine green crumb.
Once the lamb has completed 8 minutes, remove from the oven and baste with the mustard on al sides before rolling in the herb/crumb mixture on all sides. Place back into the oven for 4-5 minutes or until the internal temperature is 60 C (Medium rare). Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before cutting into individual rib chops.
Add the peas, garlic and half the mint to well salted water and boil for ±10 minutes or until peas are soft. Add the peas (and mint and garlic) to a food processor with about 1/2 a cup of the water reserved from boiling the peas, the butter, cream and the remaining mint. Blend till smooth.
(Optional) Pass the puree through a sieve to ensure its super smooth.
Deseed the pumpkin and cut into ±3cm thick semi-lunar wedges. Marinate with chopped rosemary, crushed garlic and olive oil before seasoning well with salt & pepper.
Lay on a lined baking sheet and roast for ±25 minutes on each side to get that great caramelised finish.
For the carrots, peel and divide in half. Add to a hot pan with olive oil, cut side dow. Cook for about 4 minutes on medium till they're golden brown underneath. Flip them over and ad 250ml chicken stock to the pan, reduce heat to simmer and add rosemary and 1 clove of garlic. Braise until fork tender.
For the onions: Divide the onion into quarters. Sear each cut side in a small pan with oil on medium. Once browned, add 250ml chicken stock and the red wine vinegar along with the rosemary and garlic. Braise till the onions are soft and cooked through.
Roast the lamb bones, vegetable off cuts, rosemary and garlic in a 180 C Oven for1 hour.
Remove from the oven and deglaze the roasting pan with red wine and lamb stock. Reduce by half over low heat.
Mix the tahini and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add the lamb jus a tablespoon at a time until you're happy with the consistency and seasoning of the dressing.
Be creative with your plating! Make sure theres a generous smear of the pea puree and at least 5 carrots and 1 red onion per person. Each person can have 3 lamb portions.