2019 ASPIRING STUDENT CHEF FINALIST: FAITH GAREY

Spice-Crusted Lamb Rack, With Spinach-Potatoes & Moilee-Tomato Sauce

I have chosen this recipe as it has a range of high skills as follows: trimming each of the lamb racks, marinating the lamb, balancing flavours with a variety of herbs and spices (including lamb crust and sauce), cooking lamb in the oven until pink in the middle, roasting potatoes until soft inside again season and crush until desired texture.

 

I will also make a sauce enriched with butter and lemon juice. I have chosen this dish because it has all major components of the Eatwell Guide and is a balanced main meal.

 

It doesn’t contain too much fat or salt which makes this dish a healthy option. This recipe uses the oven to bake both the lamb and the potatoes. The combination of flavours in this recipe makes it really appealing. There is a really interesting balance of fresh and dried spices and fresh herbs. The crunchy texture of the lamb crust balances well with the soft tender lamb and the smooth sauce. I am also really pleased with the presentation as it looks very attractive and I really hope the judges will like it too.   

Ingredients

LAMB RACK

  • 2 2-bone lamb racks, trimmed and lightly scored

  • vegetable oil

 

MARINADE

  • 1/2 tbsp of garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 tbsp of ginger, crushed

  • 1/4 red chilli, de-seeded and very finely chopped

  • 1/8 lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala salt

  •  

  • SPICE CRUST

  • 1/2 tbsp of cumin seeds

  • 2 green cardamom pods

  • 1/2 dried chilli

  • 1/4 tbsp of coriander seeds

  • 1/2 tbsp of sesame seeds

  • 1 tbsp of coriander stalks, finely chopped

  • 1/2 tbsp of basil stalks, finely chopped

  • 2tbsp of unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 tbsp of breadcrumbs

 

MOILEE-TOMATO SAUCE

  • 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil

  • 1/2 tbsp of mustard seeds

  • 3 curry leaves

  • 1/2 garlic clove, crushed

  • 1/2 tsp ginger, chopped

  • 1/2 green chilli, chopped

  • 1/2 shallot, diced

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 100ml of coconut milk

  • 1 tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 tsp tomato puree

  • 1/2 tbsp of fresh coriander, chopped

  • 1/8 lemon, juiced

  • 1/2 tbsp of unsalted butter salt

 

ROAST SPINACH POTATOES

  • 1/2 large potato, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes

  • 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil

  • 1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped

  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped

  • 250g of baby spinach leaves

  • 1/8 tsp garam masala salt

Method

  1. For the lamb rack, start by trimming off any fat on the cut. Mix together all the lemon juice, ginger, red chilli, garam masala and garlic for the marinade. Massage the marinade gently on to the racks of lamb and set aside for 30 minutes

  2. Roast all the spices for the spice crust in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until they turn a shade darker, stirring or shaking them constantly. Crush them coarsely in with a pestle and mortar

  3. Mix them with the coriander and basil stalks, then add the softened butter. Cream the mixture together and gently mix in the breadcrumbs. Spoon the spice crust on to a piece of greaseproof paper and spread it out with a spatula

  4. With the tip of a knife, mark out 4 squares large enough to cover the flesh side of each lamb rack, then place in the fridge to harden

  5. Roast the potatoes in some olive oil at 200C until soft in the centre and crispy on the outside

  6. To make the moilee-tomato sauce, heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger, chilli and shallot and sauté until translucent

  7. Stir in the turmeric and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, coriander and salt, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes

  8. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve and reheat. Whisk in the lemon juice, then the butter

  9. Heat some vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan, add the marinated lamb racks and cook over a high heat until the outside is well seared

  10. Transfer to a baking tray and place the spice crust on each rack. Put in an oven preheated to 190°C/Gas Mark 5 and roast for 11-12 minutes, until cooked medium rare. Remove and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving

  11. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil and butter in a frying pan, add the chopped garlic, ginger and shallot and sauté until softened but not coloured

  12. Add the spinach, garam masala and salt and sauté until the spinach is cooked. Lastly, add the roasted crushed potatoes and toss with the spinach, check seasoning

  13. To serve. Spoon the spinach and crushed potato in the centre of 2 large pasta plates and pour the moilee sauce around it. Place the lamb on top of the spinach.

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