Crusted Lamb Racks with Roasted Grapes
Roasted grapes add little pops of sweet juice to this meal. Balance the sweetness with a tangy salad, and serve with a quick cannellini bean purée.
250g red grapes
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp raspberry or balsamic vinegar
- 2 x 450g lamb racks
- 3 Tbsp butter
- Finely grated zest 1 large lemon
- 1 Tbsp flaky sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp coarsely grated ginger
- ½ cup panko crumbs, crushed fine
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Wash grapes and dry off with paper towels, then snip them into small clusters. Soften honey by putting it in a small bowl set inside a large bowl of hot water (or microwave it for a few seconds). Mix in vinegar. Put grapes in a small shallow ovenproof dish lined with baking paper. Toss to coat in the honey and vinegar.
2. Roast the grapes for about 30 minutes, or until they are somewhat wrinkled and are starting to burst their skins and char a little; stir gently with a large spoon once or twice during cooking. Set aside.
3. Remove excess fat from lamb racks but keep a covering of it in place over the meaty part of the rack. Remove as much of the silverskin (a tough sheath or membrane that runs along the meaty part) as you can by sliding a small sharp knife underneath it. Melt butter in a small bowl and mix in lemon zest, sea salt, pepper and thyme. Squeeze in the juice from the grated ginger.
4. Brush lamb racks all over with seasoned butter. Lay racks meaty side up in a shallow-sided ovenproof dish (high sides will prevent browning. I use a sturdy tin similar to a Swiss roll tin). Press crumbs on the meaty parts. The racks can be prepared up to 1 hour in advance, left covered at room temperature, or kept longer if refrigerated (but bring to room temperature before cooking or the timing will be wrong).
5. Roast for 20 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden brown but the meat is still pink and juicy. Rest racks on a board for 7 minutes before slicing into cutlets. Let the cutlets rest on the board for 2-3 minutes keeping crusty crumb edges away from any seeping juices. Mop juices then transfer cutlets to a heated serving plate. Serve immediately with roasted grapes.