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Rack ‘n Roll

Juicy and succulent, my roasted lamb is the perfect centrepiece for your dinner table, while this week's dessert offering is simply flan-tastic

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Rack of Lamb with Garlic Potato Pie

Rack of Lamb with Garlic Potato Pie

Fruit Flan with Elderflower Jelly

Fruit Flan with Elderflower Jelly

Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto

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Rack of Lamb with Garlic Potato Pie

A roasted rack of lamb is normally a dish for special occasions. It's easy and fast to cook, and an impressive addition to any dinner table.

I love my lamb with a very simple marmalade glaze. It doesn't overpower the gamey lamb flavour and is very easy to do. You could add a herb or pistachio crust or mustard and rosemary, but I prefer to keep it simple.

I would advise taking the lamb out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking so it comes to room temperature, and when it's cooked, it's important to rest it. All meats should be rested once cooked, it helps redistribute the juices to ensure a lovely, juicy piece of meat.

A potato pie is the perfect accompaniment to the rack of lamb. It can be prepared in advance and popped in the oven at roughly the same time as the lamb so both will be ready in well under an hour, with very little fussing about.

For some extra flavour, I add a little wild garlic pesto to the potato and cream, it goes extremely well with the lamb and is perfect for placing on the table and letting everyone help themselves.

Another impressive centerpiece to bring to the table for dessert is my fresh fruit flan with an elderflower jelly. Once the flan shell has been cooked and cooled you add the fruit. I like to use oranges or mandarins, but strawberries or raspberries are delicious too.

I also pour some elderflower jelly over the fruit before it sets. This keeps the fruit in place and gives it a lovely hint of elderflower.

Happy cooking,

Kevin

 

Rack of Lamb with Garlic Potato Pie

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 racks of lamb (3 bones per person approx), French trimmed

2 dessert spoons of orange marmalade

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Salt and pepper

For the potato pie:

500g potatoes, very thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp parsley or wild garlic leaves, chopped

200ml cream

400g ready-made puff pastry

Egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp milk)

Flour, for dusting

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C.

2. Remove the outer layer of fat from the lamb, and using a spoon, spread the orange marmalade over the rack. Season with some salt and pepper.

3. Prepare the potato pie. Put the potatoes, garlic, parsley (or wild garlic, if preferred) and some salt and pepper into a saucepan and pour in the cream. Cook over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes until the potato has softened slightly.

4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry and cut out a circle about 8cm (3 inches) wider than the top of your pie dish. Using a sharp knife, lightly score the pastry in a lattice pattern, ensuring you don't cut right through it.

5. Pour the potato mixture into your pie dish. Brush the egg wash over the top and around the edges of the dish, then cover with the pastry. Press to secure it, then brush with more egg wash.

6. Place the lamb in the pre-heated for oven 20-25 minutes for medium cook, or a little longer if you prefer it more well done.

7. Place the potato pie in the oven approximately 5 minutes after the lamb. Bake until the pastry is light and golden.

8. Remove the lamb from the oven, cover with aluminium foil, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove the potato pie from the oven and serve immeditately with the lamb.

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Fruit Flan with Elderflower Jelly

Fruit Flan with Elderflower Jelly

Fruit Flan with Elderflower Jelly

 

Fruit Flan with Elderflower Jelly

Serves 4

Ingredients:

180g butter, softened

180g caster sugar

3 eggs

180g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 oranges, segmented

3 gelatine leaves

200ml orange and elderflower juice (or other juice)

2-3 tbsp orange juice

100g strawberries, to serve

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Lightly grease a flan tin and place a circle of greaseproof paper on the bottom.

2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

3. Stir in the flour and baking powder until smooth and combined. If the mixture is too thick you can add a drop of milk to loosen it. Pour the mixture into the flan tin and smooth out the top.

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the mix comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled, remove from the flan tin and place on a serving platter. Drizzle the base with 2-3 tbsp of orange juice.Layer the orange segment on top and set aside for a while.

5. Next, prepare the jelly. Bloom the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes until soft. Lightly warm the 200ml orange and elderflower juice in a saucepan until just warm (about 50C). Remove the softened gelatine leaves from the water and squeeze the excess water.

6. Place the gelatine leaves in the warm juice and whisk to dissolve into the juice. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then spoon the orange and elderflower jelly mixture over the fruit flan. Leave to cool and allow the jelly to set.

7. Decorate with flan with halved strawberries to serve.

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Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto

 

Top tip: Wild Garlic Pesto

⬤ My wild garlic pesto is a recipe I am always asked for - it's delicious stirred through pasta or drizzled over cooked meats or vegetables.

⬤ I like to add a tablespoonful of wild garlic pesto to my potato pie before I add the pastry lid; it adds a lovely flavour to the potatoes. This pesto will keep for up to 2-3 weeks, stored in the refrigerator.

⬤ Place 2-3 handfuls of fresh wild garlic, 2 tbsp parmesan, 2 tbsp pistachios, the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse once or twice.

⬤ Slowly add around 100-150ml sunflower oil while blending to create a thick pesto.

⬤ Check the seasoning, and store in a jar with a drop of extra oil over the top to help preserve the pesto for longer.

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