I’m always banging on about eating in tune with the seasons and this dish is a classic example, you see lamb doesn’t develop really great flavour until the little fellows have had a few months off the milk and on grass. What you get at this time of year is the absolute best compromise between taste and texture, and when you marry that to the tomatoes that are just going wild in the garden at the moment, you have a taste sensation.
The Idea of French cut rack of lamb is to have all the sinew carefully cut away and the bones scraped clean. The sinew is chewy and if the bones still have stuff attached they will go black. Cook them whole and then carve just before serving, a rack of lamb is usually 8 bones and what looks great is to carve after every second one and put two pieces together, intertwining the bones. Have fun.
Lebanese Marinated Rack of Lamb With Pickled Avocado and Tomatoes
2 racks of lamb, trimmed and French cut
1 small bell pepper
1 small red chill, deseeded
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of saffron threads
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chop the pepper, chili, garlic, mint and spices together until the mixture is almost a pulp, stir in the olive oil, then rub this mixture into the meat.
Put in a Ziploc plastic bag and refridgerate for 2 – 3 hours.
Seal in a hot frying pan or on the BBQ and then roast in a preheated oven, 200˚C for approximately 10 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes and serve with the pickled tomatoes and Avocado and a green salad.
The pan juices make an excellent base for a sauce
Pickled Tomatoes and Avocado
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. avocado oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 jalapeños, sliced thinly
- ½ tsp. cumin seed, toasted and ground
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds, toasted and ground to a paste
- 4 Tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp. plus a pinch r salt
- 3 ripe, Fresh Avocados
Place the tomatoes in a glass or ceramic bowl that can withstand a little heat. Season the tomatoes with the salt.
In a large fry pan bring oil to a simmer over medium high heat, just below smoke point. Add shallot and then jalapeños. Fry off until tender, about two minutes and then add the cumin and the mustard seeds. Toast for about a minute and remove from heat.
Let cool slightly and then carefully add half of the lime juice and vinegar and then pour this over seasoned tomatoes. Add mint, parsley and the salt. Let the tomatoes sit at room temperature for the flavors to mature while you cook the Lamb.
Slice the avocados in half lengthwise. Slice each half lengthwise again, gently removing seed. Peel and discard the avocado skins and slice avocado into ¼-inch slices. In a medium bowl toss the avocado with the remaining lime juice and season with a pinch of salt. Add them to the curried tomatoes and toss gently.
This dish just cries out for a full bodied pinot, so for me that has to mean a Bird Wines Big Barrel Pinot Noir.