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Rack of lamb and spring salad

There are few more traditional meals than a rack of lamb at Easter.

It’s one that has been around since the 7th century – in days gone people believed the only form the devil couldn’t take was the lamb because of its religious symbolism – for this reason became the meal of choice for the Pope at Easter, in turn gaining momentum as the meal of choice for the general public as well.

Here in the UK Easter is perfectly aligned with the beginning of Spring, and religious or not, fresh lamb is still the meal of choice with many families sitting down to enjoy a Sunday roast together during spring.

If you’re planning to serve lamb to family and friends, mix up this time-honoured tradition with a new recipe blending a succulent leg of lamb with the perfect fresh, spring accompaniment.

 

Serves: 4
                     Prep: 20 minutes                   Cook: 21-22 minutes

You’ll need:

For the lamb

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 x300g (10oz) French trimmed racks of lamb
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons runny honey
  • 15g (1/2oz) fresh dill, chopped
  • 25g (1oz) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 25g (1oz) fresh mint, chopped

For the salad

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) small anya potatoes, scrubbed, halved or thickly sliced depending on size
  • 150g (5oz) frozen peas, or shelled weight of fresh peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
  • 40g (11/2oz) butter
  • 150g (5oz) blackberries
  • 50g (2oz) rocket leaves

For the sauce

  • 150g (5oz) blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon blackberry or red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons runny honey
250ml (8fl oz) lamb stock

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) Gas 6. Heat the oil in a frying pan, season the fat on the lamb with salt and pepper then fry, fat side downwards in the pan for 4-5 minutes until golden.
  2. Add the lamb and pan juices to a roasting tin and spread the fat with the honey. Roast for 15 minutes. Mix the herbs together then spoon 2 tablespoons into a bowl for the sauce, sprinkle half the remaining herbs over the lamb, keep the rest for the salad. Roast the lamb for 5 more minutes.
  3. Meanwhile cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes until just tender, adding the peas for the last 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the lamb to a serving plate, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes. To make the sauce, add the blackberries, vinegar, mustard, honey and stock to the roasting tin. Bring to the boil, scraping up the pan juices and mashing some of the blackberries to release their juice. Boil for 2 minutes then add the reserved 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs and a little extra salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain the potatoes and peas, dry the pan and heat the oil then gently fry the fennel for 2-3 minutes until just softened. Add the butter, the cooked potatoes and peas, and toss together in the butter. Add the blackberries, rocket and remaining chopped herbs with a extra salt and pepper and toss together.
  6. Spoon the salad into a serving bowl. Reheat the sauce if needed and pour into a jug. Transfer the lamb to a chopping board and cut into cutlets, serve with the salad and sauce.

Cook’s tip

If you prefer your lamb well done, then roast for 5-10 minutes more before adding the herbs.

 

Recipe courtesy of Seasonal Berries

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