Yes, I have eaten lamb twice this week. No, it is most certainly not related to the latest round of Sam Kekovich ads. I just felt like eating it again last night, so I did. Plus two extra courses.
I was not alone on this journey; my friend M also partook of this meal and I had to roll her out to her car afterwards.
- entree – warm chorizo with lime, Jindi brie, water crackers
- main course – dukkha crusted rack of lamb, served with sweetcorn, garlic mash, asparagus with verjuice
- dessert – pink peppercorn icecream topped with crumbles of Rochelle Adonis nougat.
Recipe #65: Dukkha crusted rack of lamb. Serves 2-4 people, depending on how many cutlets you want to serve per person.
You will need:
► a rack of lamb with 8 cutlets (ie. 8 exposed bones)
► ½ tsp salt
► dukkha [check out Recipe #61 to make your own hazelnut dukkha, a lovely nutty spice blend]
► good olive oil
Start by preheating your oven to 190°C. With a sharp knife, slice straight slits down the fatty side of the lamb, cutting the slits about 1cm apart > these are important for flavour, as you will find out. Rub the salt into the slits. Next, apply a good portion — at least several tablespoons — of dukkha to the lamb and rub it into the flesh, ensuring that it gets trapped between the slits in the fat. Drizzle a decent amount of olive oil over the rack.
Lay (or stand) the cutlet on a foil covered baking tray and tear an extra piece of foil for the exposed bones; wrap the bones to ensure they don’t burn. You could ‘french’ the rack (by scraping the excess meat and fat from the bones) before covering the bones, if you like; sometimes I do, this time I didn’t. [Guilty pleasure: tearing the jerky-like sinew from the exposed bones with my teeth…]
Place the rack in the oven for around 45 minutes — until the crusty exterior of the lamb starts to brown — then remove from the oven and take the foil from the bones. Let the rack sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing it into cutlets and serving.
What you end up with is juicy cutlets of lamby goodness. Serve with steamed & buttered sweetcorn, asparagus spears (or snake beens) that have had salt, verjuice and olive oil liberally applied after steaming, and garlic mash.
Recipe #66: Garlic mash. This recipe is so simple that it is easy to justify the effort, even for a one-person meal.
You will need:
► about 2 medium-sized potatoes per person, diced with skin on [for this version, I leave the skin on. You don’t have to]
► ½ clove garlic per person
► lots of butter, have it sliced/diced and ready to go [I prep at least 200g each time I make this mash…I don’t necessarily use it all, but I have it at the ready]
► ground pepper
Boil the diced potatoes with the garlic and a good pinch of salt until the potatoes are very soft; the garlic will be ready at the same time. Strain the potatoes and place back in the original saucepan with a good grind of pepper, a generous pinch of salt and several cubes/slices of butter. Mash vigorously with a potato masher [or you could use the end of a sturdy whisk]. As you mash, add incrementally more butter until the mash looks light and fluffy.
Remember to taste it > add more salt/pepper/butter to suit your taste; mash for longer to get a smooth consistency. The little squares of skin give bursts of texture and extra flavour.
Mash freezes really well and you can thaw it in a saucepan over low heat, whisking as you go. I always make an extra big batch of mashed potato and freeze what I don’t use. I love having these shortcuts ready to go in case of unexpected dinner guests.
What we were drinking: Kiss Chasey Premium White, ginger & coriander seed ‘tea’.
What we were listening to: Beady Belle, Lemon Jelly, Sigur Ros.
I hope you like this combination as much as M and I did,