Rack of Spring Lamb with Wild Garlic Gremolata

(Serves 4)

A rack of lamb is made up of eight chops taken from the front end of the animal – the end with the long ribs. Ask your butcher to give you four three-rib portions from two racks. Ask him to also French trim and part chine them. French trimming is where the flesh is removed from halfway along each rib. Chining means sawing through the base of the ribs where they attach to the back bone (chine bone) making the cooked rack easier to carve and serve. Make sure he leaves the chine bone on in order that the racks cook evenly and the bone protects the tender eye of the chop from overcooking in the oven.

Wild Garlic can be found in shady woodland wherever bluebells are to be seen. It is identifiable by its long and slender dark green leaves that smell strongly of, guess what, garlic. Pick only the leaves or flowers because you are not allowed to dig up the whole plant. If in doubt as the whether or not you have the right plant leave well alone and use a well crushed garlic clove in the recipe.

  • 4 x three-rib racks of spring lamb
  • large handful of wild garlic, finely chopped
  • Zest of a lemon, finely grated
  • 6 anchovy fillets, finely diced
  • 1tbsp rape seed oil
  • Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C
  • Score the skin of the lamb in a shallow harlequin pattern. Smear with oil and season well all over with sea salt and black pepper. Allow to come to room temperature.
  • Mix the wild garlic, lemon zest, anchovies and oil and leave to mature until ready to serve.
  • Bring a large frying pan to a medium-high heat. Sear the skin side until brown, then repeat on all sides. Place the four racks in a roasting tray sat on their chine bones for even cooking. Put in the oven and roast for between 15 and 20 minutes. To test for doneness, quickly insert a thin metal skewer into the very core of the eye of the meat, count to , then quickly remove the skewer, tentatively touch the tip to you bottom lip – it should feel just warm indicating an internal temperature of around 55°C at which point it will be quite rare.
  • Remove the racks and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm and rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the chine bone and serve the racks with some spring vegetables such as asparagus, sugar snap peas, etc.

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