Monday 4 January 2010

Rack of Lamb for Valentine's

Today's recipe is a classic rack of lamb for Valentine's day:

Rack of Lamb with Olive Crust

The French-trimmed rack of lamb is a traditional Valentine's day dish and here it's classically roasted with an olive crust.

1 rack of lamb (7 bones each) — this yields 2 generous portions
100g butter
1 tsp olive oil
100g olives, pitted
1 sprig of basil
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
100g dry breadcrumbs
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1 onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
1 carrot, cut into chunks
3 celery sticks, cut into chunks
1 bayleaf
1 sprig of thyme
750ml lamb stock (or chicken stock)

Begin with the crust: Combine the olives, basil, breadcrumbs an parsley in a blender and reduce to fine crumbs. Season to taste with salt and black pepper then set aside. Melt 50g of the butter in a small saucepan and heat until foaming then add the lemon juice. Take off the heat and stir into the olive and brad mix then set aside to cool.

Add 25g of butter and the olive oil to a roasting thin. Heat on the hob then season the lamb rack and place in the roasting tin and fry until well coloured (about 3 minutes per side). Add the carrot, onion, garlic, thyme, bayleaf and celery to the roasting tin then turn the meat over so the curved side is uppermost. Spread the crust over the top of the meat then arrange the rack on top of the vegetables. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180°C and roast for 15 minutes.

When done, remove the rack of lamb, cover with foil and set aside to rest. Place the roasting tin with the vegetables on top of the hob. Add the stock and allow to boil until the volume has reduced by 1/3 then pass through a sieve, pressing down with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Transfer the liquid to a pan then bring to a boil and reduce for 5 minutes before whisking in the remaining 25g of butter to thicken.

Halve the rack of lamb and arrange on serving plates. Accompany with potatoes, spring vegetables and the sauce.

This recipe is brought to you by the Celtnet Recipes for Special Occasions page.

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