Roast Rack of Lamb with Crushed Potatoes and Slowly caramelized garlic

An inviting roast lamb recipe from Rick Stein. The rack of lamb is seasoned and served with crushed potatoes, flavoured with sweet, slow caramelised garlic.

Introduction

I used to cook a rack of lamb à la crème d’ail at our bistro back in the 1990s. The garlic was slow-cooked in the skin, then puréed and mixed with chicken stock and rather a lot of butter and cream. It was nice though a bit overly rich. But I think rack of lamb and the sweet taste of slow-cooked garlic go together so well that here I’ve mixed crushed new potatoes with nearly two heads of slow-cooked garlic and made a gravy with the residue from cooking the garlic, reduced down with some chicken stock, butter and lemon juice. It’s the sort of chunky, earthy flavours of France that I adore.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 x racks of lamb, each weighing about 500 g, trimmed and chined, and the chine bone removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the crushed potatoes with slowly caramelized garlic:
2 x 75-80g heads garlic
25g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
100ml chicken stock
750g new potatoes, scraped clean
15g chopped flat-leaf parsley
For the garlic gravy:
50ml chicken stock
½ tsp lemon juice
10g butter

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 230°C/Gas Mark 8. For the slowly caramelized garlic, peel the cloves from each of the 2 heads and put them into a small pan with the butter and olive oil. Sauté gently until just starting to colour, then add the chicken stock, press a sheet of crumpled wet greaseproof paper down onto the top of them and leave to cook very gently for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a pan of well-salted water (1 teaspoon per 600ml), bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Season the racks of lamb with salt and pepper, put them into a small roasting tin and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the lamb from the oven, cover tightly with some foil and leave somewhere warm to rest for up to 10 minutes.

Lift the soft, caramelized garlic out of its cooking juices onto a board and coarsely chop. Drain the potatoes well, return them to the pan and gently crush each one up against the side of the pan with the back of a fork until it just bursts open. Add two-thirds of the garlic, the chopped parsley and a little seasoning and lightly mix them together.

For the garlic gravy, return the pan of garlic cooking juices to a high heat, add the chicken stock, lemon juice and remaining chopped caramelized garlic and boil rapidly until reduced slightly and well flavoured. Whisk in the butter and season to taste with some salt and pepper.

Carve the racks of lamb into cutlets. Spoon the crushed potatoes into the centre of 4 warmed plates and rest the cutlets alongside. Spoon around the garlic gravy and serve.

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