Finally the long winter days are receding and spring is here, bringing with it the joy of al fresco dining and indulgent meals and here is a beautiful springtime dish to make your mouth water…
Ballymaloe Roast Rack of Lamb With Fresh Apple and Mint Chutney
A rack is a deliciously tender cut of lamb that, once it’s been prepared, is easy to carve and serve. Ask your butcher to prepare it for roasting if you’d rather not do it yourself. The apple and mint chutney is particularly good with young sweet lamb in the spring or summer.
Serves 4–6 as a main course
- 2 racks of spring lamb (6–8 cutlets each)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper for the fresh apple and mint chutney
- 1 large cooking apple (such as Grenadier or Bramley Seedling), peeled and cored
- Large handful of fresh mint leaves – Spearmint or Bowles mint
- 50g (2oz) onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 20–50g (¾–2oz) caster sugar (depending on tartness of apple)
- Salt and cayenne pepper, to season
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F), Gas mark 7.
Score the fat of the racks into roughly 2–3cm (¾–1¼in) squares or diamonds, making sure to cut through only the fat, not the meat. Sprinkle the scored fat with salt and pepper and place on a roasting tray, fat side up.
You can either cook it straight away or refrigerate until needed. Roast the racks for 25–35 minutes depending on the age of the lamb (very small racks in spring might take just 25 minutes, but larger racks later on in the year might take 35 minutes to cook) and degree of doneness required.
When cooked, remove the lamb to a warm serving dish. Turn off the oven and leave the lamb to rest for 5–10 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, put the apple, mint, onions and sugar in a food processor and whizz to combine, then season with salt and cayenne pepper.
Carve the lamb and serve 2–3 cutlets per person, depending on the size of the cutlets. Serve with the chutney.
Coast: Recipes Inspired by Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Coast by Rachel Allen is published by HarperCollins at £25, photography by Maja Smend