When I got my rack of lamb, I was struggling to come up with recipes for it. It's not that I didn't know what to do with the lamb, but that it's not a cheap cut, so not something I purchase frequently and so I wanted to make something that would show off it's flavours to make it a memorable dish. I went for a Mediterranean route as the recipe is from Jamie Oliver, and I love the the salty, sweet flavour combinations that this dish provides. Not to mention the fact that it's so easy to prepare.
Ok so I did a little prep work with the potatoes, but after that, I pretty much just shoved everything in the oven and relaxed while it was cooking. The Mediterranean flavours of the roasted tomatoes and the olives make this the perfect Summer Sunday lunch.
I also made a quick broad bean, mint and feta salad to go on the side as I wanted something green and the combination of the flavours would work well. You don't really need as much feta as I put in the dish as the lamb itself is quite rich, on the other hand if you want the lamb to go further, then add as much feta as necessary. This dish is pretty high in saturated fats but at the same time, it's not often I shell out on lamb racks so one indulgent meal won't do any harm.
I was being really careful about the lamb because I did want to come out perfect. Crispy skin, rendered fat and pink meat on the inside. I think I managed to accomplish a medium well pinkness inside. It wasn't dry and that's what I was worried about getting wrong. We had some bad lamb not long before this so I didn't want to go too pink either, but I think it got it just right for our palates for the day.
I portioned it out so I would have two pieces, Byron would have three and that left some for leftovers. I ended up cutting the meat off the bone and put it in a tupperware container with the remaining potatoes and broad bean salad for lunch at work the next day. I have to say my colleagues were enviously eyeing my lunch and you know what, this dish tastes pretty good chilled. I still microwaved the meat a little bit but everything else tasted great!
Rack of Lamb
~700g of new or Jersey Royal Potatoes
100g Olives, de stoned and chopped in half
250g cherry Tomatoes
1 cup of Broad Beans, shelled
50g feta Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Start by setting two pans of water to boil, pre-heat a large frying pan, and pre-heat the oven to 200 degree centigrade. Wash your potatoes and halve any of the larger ones so they're all roughly the same size. Pop the potatoes in the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. Pop your broad beans into the other pan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes.
While you're waiting for the vegetables to cook, sear the skin side of the lamb rack on the frying pan until it starts to turn brown and the fat starts to render. I didn't put any oil in the pan as the lamb will release a lot of it's own fat. When the meat has browned set to one side and reserve the cooking juices in the pan.
Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and squeeze the seeds out of them so you're left with the flesh and skin. I reserved the seeds and the juice for another recipe. When the potatoes are just tender, drain the water and toss them into the frying pan with the lamb juices. Add the tomatoes and the olives to the potatoes and fry on a high heat. Squash the potatoes a bit with a masher so the flesh can absorb some of the juices from the lamb and the olives and tomatoes.
When the potatoes have started to crisp around the edges, toss them with the tomatoes and the olives in a oven dish. Add the lamb rack on top of the potatoes and cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the lamb has cooked.
While the lamb and veg are in the oven, make your salad by mixing together lemon juice, feta cheese, mint and your blanched broad beans. When the lamb is cooked, remove from the oven, let it sit for 10 minutes covered with foil, then carve. Plate vegetables on the bottom with lamb on the top and the broad bean salad around the sides. Eat.