Life’s a Feast: Lamb rack with hasselback beets and potatoes

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This may sound like a generalisation, but I think it’s safe to say Kiwis love eating lamb!

However, when it comes to cooking it, many home cooks become a little apprehensive. Never fear, the recipe below will ensure you get a perfectly-pink rack of lamb, cloaked in well-balanced Moroccan spices.

The rack is the most tender part of lamb, loaded with flavour – and I recommend you serve it medium-rare.

Although a little more expensive than other cuts of lamb (I tend to only buy them when they are on special), it’s worth investing in these succulent gems as they will impress in looks and flavour!

PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: 70 mins

SERVES: 4 people

Ingredients

2 lamb racks

Rub

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon sumac

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Hasselback veges

4 medium-sized beetroots

4 medium-sized potatoes

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1/2 cup creme fraiche

2 tablespoons fresh dill

1 teaspoon sea salt

Black pepper

Method

1.Pre-heat the oven to 180degC. Combine all the ingredients for the lamb rub and generously rub all over the lamb. Set aside.

2.Trim tops of the beetroots to create a flat surface. Peel, then slice each beetroot crosswise at .75cm intervals, cutting to within 4cm of the bottom of the beetroot – do not cut all the way through! Peel the potatoes and slice them the same way, ensuring the more flat side of the potato is on the base.

3.Place all the vegetables flat-side down in a baking dish with a little olive oil in the bottom. Cover tightly with tin foil. Bake until very tender, about 50 to 60 minutes.

4.Remove from the oven and turn it up to 220degC. With an olive oil spray or using a pastry brush, coat the vegetables with olive oil.

5.Heat an oven-proof roast dish on the element to a high heat with a little oil. Sear the lamb rack for about a minute until golden, then pop the roasting dish into the oven along with the beetroot and potato (uncovered) and cook for another 11-13 minutes (obviously longer for more well-cooked). Remove from the oven and rest the lamb, covered, for at least 7 minutes.

6.While the lamb is cooking, make the dressing for the hasselback veges. Toast caraway seeds in a dry frypan over medium-high heat, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

7.Combine these with the creme fraiche, chopped dill, salt and pepper. You can add a little milk or buttermilk to make it a little runnier if you prefer.

8.Slice each lamb rack in half and generously season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the beets and potatoes and serve immediately. I like to serve this dish with fresh green beans and charred broccolini.