Herb crusted rack of lamb

Lisa Allens madeira sauce and creamy gratin potatoes, with a hint of nutmeg, are the perfect finishing touches for this classic dish
Herb crusted rack of lamb
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the herb crust

  • 200 g fresh white bread
  • 20 g fresh parsley
  • 5 g fresh thyme
  • 5 g fresh chervil

For the lamb

  • 2 racks of lamb
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard

For the fine green beans

  • 200 g fine green beans
  • 1 litre water
  • knob of butter

For the madeira sauce

  • 50 g shallots
  • 100 g sliced mushrooms
  • 40 g butter
  • 200 ml madeira
  • 400 ml chicken stock

For the gratin potatoes

  • 700 g medium potatoes
  • 500 ml double cream
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • small pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Method

1. For the herb crust: remove the crust from the bread. Place the bread into a blender and blitz into fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the herbs and blitz again. Spread the mixture over a tray to allow it to dry out a little.

3. For the lamb: remove the outer layer of fat from the lamb, season with salt and place skin-side down in a hot pan. Sear for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Turn over and repeat on the other side of the rack.

4. Remove the rack from the pan and leave to rest for 2-3 minutes.

5. Place the rack onto a tray, skin side up and brush the rack with an even coating of mustard.

6. Cover generously and evenly with the herb crust. Cover the bones with foil to prevent burning.

7. Place the lamb in a hot oven at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 12-14 minutes. Rest.

8. For the green beans: top and tail all the green beans. Place into boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

9. Remove from the water and place into iced water (this helps the beans keep their vibrant green colour).

10. To re-heat, place in a small pan with a little butter, add a few drops of water and season to taste. Alternatively, put them into a small dish, season, add butter and reheat in the microwave.

11. For the madeira sauce: melt 25g of the butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the shallots and mushrooms and sweat for 2-3 minutes.

12. Add the madeira and reduce by two thirds.

13. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half.

14. Pass through a fine sieve. Add the remaining butter and whisk well.

15. For the gratin potatoes: peel the potatoes, wash and slice on a mandolin. The slices should be 3mm thick. Put in a bowl and season with salt.

16. Combine the cream, milk, and chopped garlic in a pan, and salt very lightly (remember the potatoes are already salted).

17. Add a pinch of pepper and grate in a little nutmeg. Set over high heat and bring to the boil for several minutes.

18. Layer the seasoned potatoes into an earthenware dish, to create a depth of around 5-6cm.

19. Pour the boiled cream over the potatoes and press lightly.

20. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven at 130C/110C fan/gas 1 for 35 minutes.

21. Remove the tin foil from the dish and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until golden.

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