Juicy, sweet and tangy, this is a gorgeous way to serve lamb racks. The recipe is easily doubled.
2 Tbsp golden raisins 1 lamb rack 12 pistachio nuts 4 cardamom pods 1 Tbsp melted butter, plus extra for raisins ¼ tsp allspice Pinch of ground cinnamon Finely grated zest ½ lemon 2 Tbsp panko crumbs Flaky sea salt ½ cup thick unsweetened yoghurt Fresh greens, herbs, edible flowers, to serve Pomegranate seeds, optional Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Preheat oven to 210°C (410°F). Soak raisins in hot water to cover for 30 minutes. Have lamb rack at room temperature.
2 Remove any fat covering and membrane (thin skin) from lamb rack using a small sharp pointy knife. (See Recipe Notes below.) The small strip of meat that runs the length of the rack can also be removed (and cooked separately), allowing all the membrane covering to be removed along with the fat tucked behind it (just ease it free by pulling gently and cutting with the knife where necessary). Alternatively leave the strip of meat in place.
3 Shell pistachio nuts and cut nuts into slivers or chop. Smash cardamom pods and extract the seeds. Put 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a bowl and add cardamom seeds, allspice, cinnamon, lemon zest and panko crumbs. Season lamb rack with salt then lay it flat in a shallow roasting tin. Press crumb mixture on meaty side of rack.
4 If you have removed the strip of meat cook the rack for 15 minutes. If you have left it intact, cook for 20 minutes. This should produce juicy pink meat. The small strip of meat needs to be trimmed and silver skin removed. Season it and dust with crumbs and cook alongside the rack but for about 7 minutes only – turn it over halfway through cooking – or flash fry it in a small frying pan (skillet). Remove rack from oven and rest for 7-10 minutes before slicing into cutlets.
5 Meanwhile, drain raisins and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a smidgin of butter in a small frying pan (skillet) and add raisins and cook for several minutes until plump and lightly golden. Turn off the heat.
6 Beat yoghurt until smooth. Put a dollop on each plate along with salad greens, herb sprigs and edible flower petals Arrange cutlets on the plates. Add pistachio nuts to raisins, stir, and spoon over lamb and yoghurt. Scatter with herb leaves and pomegranate seeds if using. Grind over a little black pepper and seve.
The rack is covered with a cap of fat which needs to be removed before cooking as it won’t render down during the short cooking. It is easily removed by gently pulling it away from the meat, using a small knife to assist. The pearly smooth membrane now revealed, known as the silver skin, should be removed as it is tough to eat and tends to contract during cooking.