Rack of Lamb
There is no meat more quintessentially Irish than lamb. I am lucky enough to live just off The Curragh Plains so it’s meat that is literally bred on my doorstep. This however, is no Curragh lamb. This is Bellewstown’s best thanks to Ali’s cousin Jo-Ann who runs Cairns Farm with her husband Brian.
I was never mad on the rack of lamb. I had always much preferred the leg, shanks or shoulder. I had only cooked the rack once before and was left disappointed with the results, which was probably down to my cooking to be fair. The key to the rack is simplicity. There are a million recipes with herb crusts and different flavourings but, to me, the real flavour only comes through when cooked simply. Salt, pepper and olive oil, you can’t go wrong. Be generous with the portions, allow 3 cutlets per person.
1 Rack of Lamb, french trimmed (ask your butcher), with 6-7 cutlets.
1 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 stick of Celery (chopped)
1 Carrot (chopped)
1/2 glass of Red Wine
1 Tin of Cherry Tomatoes (400g)
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1. Remove the skin from the lamb and score the fat with a knife to create a criss-cross pattern. Massage the oil into the lamb before seasoning well with salt and pepper.
2. Put the celery and carrot into a roasting pan and put the lamb on top. Put into a pre-heated 190 degree oven for 25-30 mins (rare) or longer if you prefer it well cooked.
3. When cooked to your liking remove the pan from the oven and set the lamb aside to rest. Put the pan onto the hob and add the wine, scraping up any stuck on bits off the bottom as it comes to the boil. Cook off the alcohol for 4-5 minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes. Simmer for 5-7 minutes to thicken and check for seasoning. You can strain if you like but I prefer to serve with the vegetables still in.
4. Cut the lamb into cutlets between the bones and serve with the sauce and some roasted potatoes and veg.