Food for Thought: A Rack of Lamb for Easter Sunday Lunch

By Petty Elliott on 01:45 pm Mar 31, 2013

A rack of lamb. (JG Photo/Petty Elliott)

A rack of lamb. (JG Photo/Petty Elliott)

Easter Sunday is the perfect opportunity to get together with family and friends for lunch. But hosting any kind of lunch party at home can be a challenging affair.

In places such as England and France, lamb is traditionally served on Easter Sunday in the same way that turkey is served at Christmas.

Lamb is not a familiar meat in Indonesia, though we have many goat dishes, from satay through to curry. Like goat, lamb has a very distinctive aroma, which is too strong for some people.

I have several favorite lamb dishes, such as lamb shank slow-cooked with onion, rosemary and red wine, or roasted lamb leg with rosemary and homemade mint sauce. These dishes require a very long cooking time.

For this week’s recipe I have prepared a quick and easy lamb recipe: roasted rack of lamb with rosemary and salsa verde served with garlic roast potatoes and orange-glazed baby carrots and asparagus. Happy Easter!

Roasted rack of lamb with salsa verde

I always trim the fat off the rack of lamb to reduce the fatty flavor and bring out the flavor of the meat. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

For the roast potatoes: 1 kilogram potatoes, peeled and cut into even-sized chunks; 1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves with skin on; 100 milliliters olive oil; small bunch of fresh thyme; sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Vegetables: 300 grams baby carrots, peeled; 250 grams baby asparagus, tough parts trimmed; zest of half an orange; sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Salsa verde: Half a slice or 25 grams of white bread; 60 milliliters white wine vinegar, 6 anchovy fillets, chopped finely;

2 tablespoons capers in vinegar, rinsed and drained; 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped; 1 and a half cups flat-leaf parsley (or basil if you prefer), finely chopped;

2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped; 150 milliliters extra virgin olive oil.

Roast rack of lamb: 1 kilogram rack of lamb, fat discarded; 3 tablespoons olive oil; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season; 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Cover the potatoes in hot water, bring to the boil and cook for 8 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander.

3. Coat a large roasting tin with olive oil and heat in the oven until very hot. Swish the potatoes around in the colander until the skins begin to break. This is to give a crunchy texture.

4. When roasting tin is hot, carefully add the potatoes and rosemary, and season with salt and black pepper. Use a spoon to drizzle hot oil over the potatoes. Roast for around 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning the potatoes once or twice.

5. To prepare the salsa verde, simply soak bread in vinegar until soft, put all ingredients into a blender and blend to a fine paste. Set aside.

6. Twenty minutes before the roast potatoes are due to finish, season the rack of lamb with salt, black pepper and chopped rosemary. Heat a frying pan, add olive oil and brown the lamb on each side. Use a spoon to drizzle the hot oil all over. Then place the lamb rack in a roasting tin . Cook for 10 minutes for medium rare or 15 minutes for medium.

7. In the meantime, boil the baby carrots for 10 minutes, add the asparagus 3 minutes before the carrots are cooked and then drain. Return the vegetables to the pan and add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the zest of half an orange and season with salt if preferred.

8. To serve, place everything into a large serving dish and keep the salsa verde in a small bowl on the side to add individually. Serve while hot.