2 racks of lamb (ideally each comprising 8 or 9 cutlets)
1/4 cup (70 g) Dijon mustard (or a mixture of Dijon and
rosemary or thyme sprigs, to garnish
120 g coarse-ish fresh white breadcrumbs (made from a fairly dense loaf like stale sourdough or ciabatta)
generous handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped thyme
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
1–2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (or to taste)
sea salt flakes, to taste
about 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
I often vary the mustards that I use to coat the lamb, or mix two together to create a more subtly flavoured crust. I'm particularly fond of using a mixture of Dijon and the slightly hot Honeycup mustard – the Honeycup adds a little sweetness that balances out the more tartly flavoured Dijon.
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Sit the racks, fat-side up, on the prepared tray. Pop them in the oven to roast for 12 minutes. When they’re done, take them out and leave them to cool a little while you make the herb coating.
3. To do this, just put the breadcrumbs, chopped herbs, garlic and salt into a bowl and stir them together. Now drizzle in the olive oil and mix well.
4. Spread a layer of mustard over the fat side, base and cut sides of the lamb racks (there’s no need to spread it over the rib bones or undersides of the racks). Use your fingers to press a thick layer of the herb coating all over the mustard.
5. When the racks are coated with the herb mixture, return them to the oven and cook them for 20–25 minutes for pink lamb. The way I check is to prod the thickest part of the meat carefully (so I don’t dislodge the crust) when I think it’s ready – it should feel a little springy, but not bouncy.
6. Remove the tray from the oven, cover the racks loosely with foil and leave them in a warm spot to settle for at least 10 minutes.
7. To serve the lamb, slice down between the cutlets – you can carve them into single cutlets if you like; I usually carve them into racks of three, as they look a bit more impressive like this. Sit the lamb on individual plates and garnish with herb sprigs.
You will find this recipe in ‘The Country Cookbook’ by Belinda Jeffery; read more in our review of this wonderful compilation of seasonal jottings and recipes http://www.agfg.com.au/Blog/post/2011/06/28/Book-Review-The-Country-Cookbook.aspx