If I had to name one, rack of lamb would be my favoured cut. I can extol its many purposed brilliance to solve almost any situation and there are few who don’t love it. Marinate this for as long as you can – overnight preferably – but it’s still worth making even if you only have time to slather on the marinade and bang it immediately in the oven. Serve with a salad or something green, plus redcurrant and mint jellies if you like.
For the lamb
2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with salt
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
½ tin anchovies
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 racks of lamb – ask for French trim but leave off the white hats
salt and pepper
For the potatoes
2 large or 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoons olive oil
For the beans
1 x 400g tins cannellini beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
Mash together the garlic, rosemary, anchovies and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Rub three-quarters of the mixture generously in and around the lamb, getting into any crevasses between the meat and bone that you can find or would like to make. Leave to marinade for as long as you can.
Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8. In a large roasting pan, toss the potato cubes, garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs thoroughly in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Make space in the middle to stand the lamb, bones pointing up. About 45 minutes before you want to eat, roast for 22–26 minutes depending on how well done you like the lamb (22 will be a deep rose, 26 the medium side of rare. I like mine on the nose of 25).
Take out the lamb and wrap it with foil, making a baggy but firmly sealed packet, and leave to stand somewhere warm (such as on top of the oven or hob) for 20 minutes. Give the potatoes a good shake and return them to the oven for 20 minutes, checking and turning once more during cooking.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, gently fry the remaining garlic-rosemary-anchovy mixture for a couple of minutes until it softens and tempers. Add the drained beans with a couple of tablespoons of water and simmer for five minutes, stirring and mashing so that some of the beans to break up. Add a little extra olive oil if you’d like to. Turn off the heat (the beans can be served warm or at room temperature).
After 20 minutes, the potatoes should be golden all over. Divide them between serving plates, or empty into a bowl for people to help themselves. Unwrap the lamb and carve into individual cutlets. Serve with the cannellini beans, redcurrant and mint jellies, and a soft green salad or vegetable.
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