Sunday, 30 October 2011

Lavender glazed rack of lamb


 Rack of lamb, 3 cloves garlic,
  rosemary, red wine, lavender jam, salt, pepper, butter
Serves: 4 Preparation: 40 minutes

Continuing with my series of lavender themed recipes - this makes a perfect Sunday lunch - especially with my lavender roast carrots, some mustard mash and some pea & mint puree for it to rest upon. As I've mentioned in previous recipes, rosemary and lavender are perfect partners and both of them go wonderfully with lamb.

1) First trim the lamb. A rack of lamb comes as a solid piece of meat with the bones sticking out of it and a thick piece of fat at the back of it. You need to score this fat with a sharp knife and slice in between each bone, leaving about 2cm of lamb at the base of each piece so that it remains one joint.
If like me you're a vegetarian, you may wish to ask someone to help you here - I bought this lamb from Swillington Organic Farm and it was a beautiful cut of meat but it didn't half smell of death! (unlike water-injected inferior supermarket meats which don't give off much of a smell) Fainting and waking up with your face in a plate of pureed peas is no fun for anyone.

2) Peel and crush 3 cloves of garlic and mix them with a teaspoon of butter. Spoon the garlic butter onto an ovenproof dish and rest the lamb upon it, pressing firmly so that the garlic is released slowly into the gravy as the lamb juices begin to flow, rather than burn in the oven and become bitter.

3) Finely chop a stalk of rosemary and stir in a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Brush the lamb all over (including the incisions you made) with the lavender jam (you may need to melt it down a little if it's come straight from the fridge) and then dust with the salt, pepper and rosemary mixture.

4) Pour a glass of red wine around the base of the lamb to keep the lamb moist and enrich the gravy. Roasting times will vary depending on the weight of the lamb and on whether you like the lamb rare or well done. Generally, an 8 bone rack will take about 30 minutes at 200 degrees to be cooked medium rare. The picture above is of a medium-rare rack. Rare = 20 minutes, Medium Rare = 25 minutes, Medium = 30, Well Done 35-40 minutes.

5) To carve the lamb, just remove the fat (it should slice right off the meat) and then slice through the remaining 2 centimetres of meat between each bone. Stir the gravy well and spoon over the lamb to serve.

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