Lamb has to be about my most favourite meat and rack of lamb is one of my favourite cuts. I don’t eat this very often, as this little beauty is not cheap. But for a special night in, it’s worth it. I modified this ever so slightly from a recipe in Nigella Lawson’s “How to Eat” cookbook – because her recipe is pretty darn simple. I love cinnamon with lamb and in keeping with the somewhat Moroccan theme, I made a reduction of pomegranate to serve with roasted beetroot, cocktail onions, potatoes on the side, with some contrasting green beans for colour and garlicy toasted almonds for extra crunch.
Cinnamon lamb rack with roasted vegetables and a pomegranate reduction
Serves: 4 (or two greedy serves)
- 1 rack lamb, approximately 650 g, fat on
- Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes (allow approximately 1 ½ per serve)
- 2 medium beetroots, ends trimmed
- 10 cocktail onions, peeled
- 200 ml pomegranate juice
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- green snake beans, trimmed
- garlic oil
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
- Cut the beetroot in half and wrap very loosely in foil with a dash of olive oil (you want it to be like a sealed tent).
- Place in oven, along with the cocktail onions and cubed potatoes and a splash of olive oil (I brush mine with a little duck fat) on a separate roasting tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove vegetables and turn up oven to 220°C (200°C fan forced).
- Rub a teaspoon of olive oil over the lamb and sprinkle over the cinnamon, then rub this in too.
- Season lamb with ground salt and pepper and place on a large roasting tray on a wire rack.
- Roast in pre-heated oven for twenty (pink lamb) to thirty (medium) minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pomegranate reduction by placing the pomegranate juice, cinnamon stick, sugar and lemon juice into a saucepan on the stove top and bringing to the boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for ten to fifteen minutes until it becomes syrupy and has reduced by half. Strain to remove the cinnamon stick.
- Remove lamb from oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for ten minutes.
- Return veges to oven while the lamb rests (you might want to turn heat down to 180°C (160°C fan forced) if things are looking too well cooked.
- Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain well.
- Heat the garlic oil in a pan, and toast the almonds until they turn nice and brown.
- Toss through the green beans to coat with the garlic and almonds.
- Carve the lamb into cutlets and serve along with roasted vegetables, green beans and drizzled with the pomegranate reduction.
You could make this a lot healthier by using a trimmed rack of lamb, but I find most of the specialness is in the fat.