Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spiced Rack of Lamb

Spring and lamb go hand in glove. I make a spice coated rack of lamb that is a sure fire hit. Easy to put together, chockful of goodness, it makes for an aha moment when brought to the table. Rack of lamb is easily found at most grocery stores. A bit on the pricey side, this is a special day entree, a splurge to accomodate the occasion.

I unwrap two racks, pat them dry and set about making the marinade. I convert a shawarma recipe by Ottolenghi. Spices are roasted and powdered, perfuming the kitchen. Dry and wet ingredients are finely ground and massaged into the lamb. As I do this, the heady aroma of fresh ground spices and herbs intoxicates, leading to the realization that this is going to one damn good roasted rack.

Serves 4-6

2 Racks of Lamb
2 tablespoons Black Peppercorns 
4 Cloves 
1/4 Fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds 
1 Star anise
1/2 teaspoon  Cardamon powder
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinammon powder 
2 tablespoons Paprika 
1 teaspoon Sumac
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt 
1 teaspoon Ginger paste
1 teaspoon Garlic paste 
1/2 cup Cilantro, cut finely
1/2 cup Lemon juice

Put peppercorns, cloves, fenugreek, cumin and star anise in a cast-iron pan and dry roast over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove to a spice grinder and process till fine powder.

Mix powdered spices with cardamon, nutmeg, cinammon, paprika, sumac, salt, ginger, garlic, cilantro and lemon juice. Mix well.

Wash and dry racks.

Massage spice paste into lamb and marinate for a minimum of  4 hours or overnight for best results. Bring to room temperature before roasting.

Heat oven to 400F.

Place racks on a foil lined baking sheet.

Roast 25 minutes for medium rare and 35 minutes for well done meat.

Remove from oven and let meat rest for 5 minutes.

Slice rack into individual chops and serve.

Oohs and ahhs seem obligatory when I bring out a heaped plate of chops. We eat with gusto and give much praise to Ottolenghi for yet another stellar recipe!