Lamb rack with whipped goat’s cheese and basil bearnaise
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tamara West
For this version of lamb rack I’ve chosen to spice the meat with one of my favourite North African spice blends — ras el hanout (which means “head of the shop” or the best spices available). It’s a flavour I think matches perfectly with lamb. The fresh basil bearnaise is a Vinnies twist on the classic French bearnaise sauce. I like to use clarified butter (also known as ghee) for its taste when I seal and caramelise the lamb racks.
Lamb rack with whipped goat’s cheese
|3 cups||Potatoes, peeled and diced|
|100 g||Goat's cheese, soft|
|½ tsp||Fine salt|
|1 tsp||Flaky sea salt|
|1 Tbsp||Clarified butter, or rice bran oil|
|1 tsp||Ras el hanout|
|12||Baby carrots, washed and peeled|
|1 bunch||Spring onion, trimmed and cut into 10cm lengths|
|1 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|⅓ cup||Breadcrumbs, fresh|
|1 tsp||Fresh thyme|
- Boil potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes or until cooked, drain well then return to the saucepan. Add goat’s cheese and cream. Over a low heat whisk the potatoes to form a smooth puree. Season with fine salt to taste.
- Heat oven to 200C. Rub each lamb rack with flaky sea salt and ras el hanout. In a hot frying pan caramelise the racks all over, then roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Take lamb out and allow it to rest for 8 minutes before slicing.
- Simmer carrots and spring onions in salted water with 1 Tbsp of olive oil until cooked.
- Melt butter in a small sauce pan, add bread crumbs and fry until almost golden, add fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper.
- Serve whipped goat’s cheese potato onto hot plates, slice lamb and divide evenly, portion carrots and spring onions, sprinkle thyme breadcrumbs around lamb and finish with basil bearnaise (see recipe below).
- Melt the butter until hot then leave to sit for the buttermilk to fall to the bottom.
- Bring vinegar, water and pepper corns to the boil and reduce by half. Strain liquid off into a small metal bowl. Add yolks, then whisk over a pot of simmering water until eggs become fluffy and thick.
- Remove from heat, whisk in butter thoroughly, a little at a time, until you get to the white buttermilk, only add a little of this as it will make the sauce runny. Stir in basil and season to taste.
*Clarified butter and ras el hanout are available at specialty food stores, or you can make your own ras el hanout using this recipe.