“This was the cut of meat I most wanted to learn how to cook when training. If you don’t want to do this yourself, your butcher will French-trim the rack for you. The Dijon mustard brushed on really complements the flavour of the lamb and allows the crust to stick,” says young Irish chef and rising star Adrian Martin.
2 racks of lamb cut in half (3 bones per serving)
Salt and cracked black pepper, to season
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 pearl onions
2 little gem lettuce, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon butter
For the crust:
4 slices of stale bread made into crumbs
Small bunch of parsley
4 sprigs of thyme
For the sweet potato fondant:
1 large sweet potato, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
2 sprigs of thyme
Place the lamb on a chopping board fat side up. Lightly score the fat layer with a sharp knife. Next, generously sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper. Mop up the excess seasoning with the meat, ensuring it is thoroughly coated.
Heat some oil in a frying pan on a high heat. Seal the lamb by placing each side in the oil long enough to develop colour. It is simple: no colour equals no taste, so make sure you brown the lamb properly.
Transfer the lamb to a preheated oven at 190ºC and bake for 7–8 minutes. While the lamb is cooking you can prepare the crust.
Place all of the ingredients for the crust into a blender and pulse several times until it looks nice and green. Pour the mixture into a deep dish and set aside.
Remove the lamb from the oven and brush generously with the mustard. Dip the lamb into the crust mixture coating it completely. Dip it several times to ensure an even coating, then allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes covered in tinfoil.
While the meat is resting make the fondant. Cut the sweet potato with a sharp knife so you are left with 2cm-thick rounds. With a 5cm fondant cutter, cut out four perfect rounds of sweet potato. Whatever is left over keep it for a purée. Add the sweet potato, 1 tablespoon of butter, water and thyme to a small frying pan. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes on each side until softened but not overcooked.
Once cooked, pour away the liquid and cook the rounds in a little olive oil and the other tablespoon of butter with the pearl onions, until coloured on the outside. Sauté the sliced little gem in a little olive oil, 1 tablespoon of butter and salt to taste for 30 seconds in a separate small saucepan on a high heat.
When you are almost ready to serve, place the lamb back into the oven for 3–4 minutes. Slice through each chop once ready. This is best served pink.
Recipes are from Create Beautiful Food At Home by Adrian Martin, which is published by Mercier Press in April 2019. Photography by Rob Kerkvliet. For more information, please go to: https://chefadrian.ie