Spring Rack of Lamb with an Indian Spiced Crust and Baked Spiced Potatoes
October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized
Durban is still bouncing around enjoying the glory of spring. There is the faintest blush of humidity already taunting us but essentially the mornings and evenings are still effervescent and fresh. I have a whole host of tourist Cape Starlings, a dead give-away that spring is here, that have joined the myriad of bird species chomping away on the mango yellow fruit on the fan palm in my garden. Durban gets light around 5am and the sun is a bright orange orb that pops out of the sea and turns the surf into a peach milkshake each morning.
This is a spectacular time of the year in the garden with the plants all starting to wake up and unfurl new growth after winter. Butterflies are emerging all pretty and delicate from unseen cocoons, flowers are opening and Christmas is on its way.
I love the pretty lights of Christmas, the heady aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves that seems to be an essential part of every recipe and most of all, I look forward to sitting at our dinner table laden with love-filled food and seeing TrickyRicky’s joy at seeing both Max and Danieles faces present.
It’s lore that all members of our family be seated around the same table each year on 25th December. The boys may invite any number of guests, in fact, the more the merrier! Max and Daniele both left South Africa shortly after Matric to go and play rugby in Italy. It became their rite of passage into adulthood and they returned to SA speaking fluent Italian, with a deeper sense of their ancestral roots and a new and improved appreciation of all the South Africa has to offer. I remember Max coming home and telling me that it’s a good job that the rest of the world didn’t know how great Durban was otherwise they would all want to live here. We did suffer our way through three Christmases with only one of our sons at the table. Although we all made an effort to enjoy the day we all had very heavy hearts and Skyped our way through the meal. This year is looking promising and I expect to have both boys and their girlfriends or friends for Christmas day lunch.
This recipe celebrates all that is Durban in spring. Fresh Free Range Rack of Lamb adorned with a mantle of Indian Spiced Herb Crust. Cooking a rack of lamb is dead easy and delivers juicy meat that is nothing less than a joy to eat. I served my Rack of Spring Lamb with baked potatoes oozing with spiced pecorino butter.
Spicy Herb Crusted Spring Lamb
1 rack of free range lamb
2 slices of bread – brown or white
2 sprigs of rosemary
1tsp ground cumin
2tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1tsp chilli powder
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp ground turmeric
The zest of one lemon
1tbs of finely chopped garlic
3tbs Dijon mustard
Preheat your oven to 220d.
Rip up the bread and place it in your food processor together with the garlic
and all of the herbs and spices above.
Add a good glug of (approx. 5 – 6Tbs) olive oil and pulse your food processor
until the mixture amalgamates.
In a hot frying pan brown the rack of lamb
on all sides in just a dash of olive oil.
Spread the 3Tbs of Dijon Mustard over the fat on the rack of lamb.
The mustard acts as the glue that keeps the crust on.
Now Spread the spiced crumb mixture on top of the mustard and pat it down nicely.
Place into an ovenproof dish or roasting tray and roast for 20 – 25 minutes at 220d.
Remove from the oven and set aside and cover loosely with a piece of tin foil
to rest for at least 20 minutes.
This resting period is absolutely vital as during this time the meat relaxes and the juices, which gather in the centre of the meat, redistribute evenly. When you cut into a piece of rested meat it’s far more tender and juicy.
Carve the chops using an electric knife. Some of the crust will fall off when you are carving, not the end of the world, just serve it on the plate much like you would stuffing.
Spiced Pecorino Butter
100g Butter at room temperature
1Tbs grated pecorino cheese – you could use a nice strong cheddar or Parmesan cheese instead.
1tbs smoked paprika
Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Bake your potatoes until the skins and nice and crispy.
I usually microwave the potatoes for 8 minutes first then finish them off in a
hot oven for 10 minutes to crisp the skins up nicely.
Cut in half and add a good dollop of the butter on top.
Serve with the lamb chops and a nice glass of wine.
In the mood for past? How about Spaghetti Carbonara