Rack of lamb with olive herb crust
- April 2006
- Serves 4
- Takes about 1 hour to make, 10-14 minutes in the oven
This rack of lamb recipe packs a real punch so if you’re planning a dinner party to impress, this is one they’ll never forget.
- 35.8g (4.2g saturated)
- 19g (8.5g sugars)
- 2 French-trimmed racks of lamb
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 15g butter
- 100ml red wine
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 2 tsp redcurrant jelly
For the olive herb crust
- Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Leaves of 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- Leaves of 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
- 50g fine white breadcrumbs
- 4 pitted black olives, roughly chopped
- 4 anchovies in oil, drained and chopped
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
For the grilled vegetables
- 2 courgettes, cut into medium-thick slices
- 1 aubergine, cut into medium-thick slices
- 1 red pepper, deseeded
- 1 yellow pepper, deseeded
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 3 unpeeled garlic cloves, halved
- Prepare the lamb. Cut away the thick layer of fat on the outside of each rack of lamb, taking with it the thin sinewy layer of meat underneath – this will leave you with a thick meaty fillet and a fatty layer that lies against the bones. Discard the fat but keep the meaty sinew for the sauce. Score the fat layer on each rack to help it crisp. Season well all over. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When foaming, add the lamb and sear for 2 minutes each side, until browned all over. Remove and set aside. Once cool, discard the fat in the pan and clean the pan with kitchen paper. Set aside.
- Make the herb crust. Whizz the herbs in a food processor. Add the breadcrumbs, olives and anchovies and whizz to a fine, damp, vibrant green mixture. Season with pepper. Brush the fillet on each lamb rack with the mustard, then coat with the breadcrumb mix, pressing it on firmly. Put in a large roasting tin and set aside.
- For the vegetables, lightly score the flesh on 1 side of each courgette and aubergine slice. Peel the peppers with a potato peeler and cut into wide strips. Reserve any trimmings. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil into a griddle pan over a medium-high heat. When really hot, add some of the vegetables, herbs and garlic in 1 layer, and fry for 1-2 minutes, turning, until charred on both sides and just tender. Place in an ovenproof dish and cover with cling film, so they continue to cook in the steam. Repeat with the remaining oil and vegetables, until they are all in the dish. Set aside, covered. Discard the garlic and herbs before serving. (Angela Hartnett’s tip: You can cook the vegetables a day ahead. Cool, cover and chill overnight. Reheat with the lamb for 5 minutes.)
- Preheat the oven to 240°C/fan220°C/gas 9, or as high as it will go. Make a quick sauce. Heat the cleaned frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the meaty sinew and vegetable trimmings. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until lightly browned. Add the wine and rosemary and simmer until reduced by half. Add 300ml boiling water and simmer rapidly for 5-6 minutes, removing any scum. Stir in the redcurrant jelly, bubble for a few minutes and season. Strain into a jug. It should be fairly thin but well-flavoured.
- Meanwhile, cook the lamb – breadcrumbs side up – in the oven for 10-14 minutes, for pink to medium. Rest, covered loosely with foil, for 5 minutes. Cut into cutlets.
- Divide the vegetables between 4 plates. Rest the lamb on top and drizzle with the sauce to serve.
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