I cooked the most delicious lunch on Sunday. I know this for a fact because my mother told me about 17 times while we were eating it having had a couple too many glasses of Macon-Villages. Still, I’m never going to complain about being over-praised for something so thank you Mum and you’re very welcome.
The trouble is I can’t really take the credit for it. Not really. I have probably mentioned before that I’m not a ‘fussy’ cook. I’m someone who is much happier being able to throw everything into a pot and leave it for a few hours rather than running round the kitchen like a headless chicken with 5 different pans overflowing on the hob. But sometimes, when there’s no pressure, and it’s not for too many people, and I have time (oh how I long for the days when I had time) I love it. In this instance, Yotam Ottolenghi is the man that should be taking credit for our lunch. He is the chap to go to if you want something completely delicious but, more often than not, a little more complicated. As it turns out in this case it was blissfully easy and involved no complicated ingredients whatsoever. Of course I made it complicated myself by what I chose to serve alongside it but that is not the lamb (nor Ottolenghi’s) fault so I will take full responsibility for my actions…
Marinated rack of lamb with coriander and honey (enough for 4)
- 1kg rack of lamb, french trimmed
- 20g flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks
- 30g mint, leaves and stalks
- 30g coriander, leaves and stalks
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 15g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 3 chillies, seeded
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 50ml lemon juice
- 60ml soy sauce
- 120ml sunflower oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons water
Separate the rack into portions of two or three cutlets and place in a non-metallic bowl. Blitz together all the remaining ingredients in a blender or a food processor, pour them over the lamb and make sure it is well covered in the marinade. Cover and keep in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200c. Heat up a heavy cast iron pan, preferably a griddle pan. Remove the meat from the marinade, shaking off the excess. Sear well on all sides, about 5 minutes in total. Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 15 mins, depending on the size of the racks and how well cooked you want them.
Meanwhile, heat the marinade in a small pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Both the cutlets and sauce can be served hot or at room temperature.
When I had stuck my finger in the marinade the night before I had been a little bit nervous that the flavours weren’t entirely balanced. I now feel like a complete idiot for ever doubting the recipe. It was fantastic and we really did have the most stonking lunch. We had it with Ottolenghi’s marinated aubergines (from the same book – I forgot to make the tahini sauce but I don’t think it needed it), baby roast potatoes, spinach and pine nuts and yoghurt on the side (natural yoghurt with grated cucumber, a tiny amount of crushed garlic and ground cumin).
I had thought this would go brilliantly with the Barbera d’Asti but with the multitude of flavours in this dish from all the fresh herbs it needed a white rather than a red wine. It was a much better match with the Roero Arneis which had the body to stand up to the lamb but the delicacy of flavour not to overpower the herbs and spices.
I love it when a lunch comes together.
Recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ottolenghi: The Cookbook