|Pistachio Crusted Lamb Rack with Pea & Potato Mash and Yogurt Sauce
For the lamb rack (serves 6)
2 x 7-8 rib lamb racks, trimmed (approx 2 lbs)
4 oz pistachios, shelled
4 cloves garlic, crushed
zest and juice of one lemon
1 medium red chile (optional)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
If you have been storing your lamb in the refrigerator, remove about an hour before you start cooking. Meat should always be at room temperature before going into the oven.
Preheat oven to 400° and turn convection fan on, if available (if not, preheat to 425°) position an oven rack in the center of the oven.
Place pistachios, garlic, lemon zest, chile and breadcrumbs into food processor. Pulse until well combined and the overall texture is breadcrumb-like.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, fresh mint, and olive oil and mix to form a paste. Season to taste.
If you have a great butcher then your lamb rack should be well prepared. If not, trim any excess fat and clean up the bones – dental floss can work a treat.
Sear the lamb racks in a hot skillet for just a minute or so on each side. Remove from heat and set aside ready to coat with the pistachio crust.
Apply the paste to the lamb rack – Use your fingers and pack the coating onto the top side of the rack.
Place the racks into a heavy-based roasting dish, with the pistachio-crusted side up.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, depending on how pink you like it, and the thickness of your rack: A shorter, thicker rack will require longer than a longer, thinner one.
Remove the rack from the oven and rest on a chopping board for 5-10 minutes before carving.
Serve two or three cutlets per person on a bed of the pea and potato puree, with a little yoghurt sauce on the side.
For the yogurt sauce
8 oz unsweetened yogurt
2 TBS Thai sweet chilli sauce
juice of half a lemon
2 TBS fresh mint, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients, cover and chill until lamb is ready.
For the pea and potato puree (serves 6 as accompaniment to lamb)
1.75 lbs floury potatoes, peeled and cut into evenly sized pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cups peas – fresh or frozen (just as long as they are sweet and tender), defrost frozen peas before adding to pot.
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Place the potatoes, garlic and onions into a pot of boiling, salted water and cook until tender (around 15 minutes)
Add peas, then cook for a further 2-3 minutes (peas hardly take any time to cook)
Drain well and transfer to food processor.
Add mint and process until smooth, adding the olive oil to thin to desired consistency.
Season to taste and serve with lamb and yogurt sauce.
Adapted from http://ourkitchen.fisherpaykel.com/2009/09/pistachio-crusted-rack-of-lamb/