Friday, 14 October 2011

The Perfect Sunday Dinner: Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Courgettes Provencal & Boulangére Potatoes

Prep: 1 hr  Cook: 1 hr Serves: 6

This is a really yummy Sunday dinner idea.  You could just choose to do one or two elements of this dish and accompany them with anything else you have in mind.  Don't be overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients, the dish requires just a little more organisation at the start! The best thing to do is to weigh out and prep all your ingredients at the beginning and it will make life a whole lot easier for you! This is not as complicated as it looks and it will really impress! The lamb is extremely tasty!

For the lamb:
2 racks of lamb, each rack cut in half. (roughly 2-3 pieces per person)
For the herb crust:
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
200g basil, chopped
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
1/3 cup parmesan or pecorino romano, grated
2 slices stale bread (I used spelt bread here for those who are wheat intolerant)
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil

For the boulangére potatoes:
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
8 medium sized floury potatoes - queen or maris piper (rooster are also good!), peeled & thinly sliced
450ml vegetable stock

For the courgettes provencal:
knob of butter
1 shallot or 1/2 a small onion, diced
1 garlic clove crushed
4 courgettes, topped & tailed and thinly sliced
3 large plum tomatoes, skinned and sliced.
150g grated cheddar cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Start with the preparation of the potatoes first as they will take 50-60mins in the oven!
Preheat the oven to Fan 190C. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and spread a layer of the potatoes in the base of a greased gratin dish.

Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the onions and thyme until softened and slightly golden. Sprinkle a layer of onions over the first layer of potatoes and continue layering with potatoes then onions until you have filled the gratin dish and finish with a layer of potatoes at the top.

Pour over the stock and bake in the oven for 50-60mins.

Now onto the courgettes!
Add the butter to a medium-sized deep pan and gently fry the garlic and shallot for 1-2mins until soft. Add the courgettes and fry for 10mins stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook for another few mins until the tomatoes are slightly pulpy.

Tip the courgette mix into an ovenproof dish and shake slightly to level out the mix. Finish with a layer of grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 30-40mins.

Finally the lamb!
Place the lamb on a cutting board and lightly score the fat with a knife. Generously season the lamb with salt & pepper. Mop up a any excess salt & pepper with the meat.

Heat some olive oil in an overproof pan. Ensure the pan is at a high heat before placing the lamb, fat side down, on the pan to seal it. (Be careful not to burn yourself if the oil begins to splatter.) When the lamb fat has become crisp and golden, transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 7-8 mins.

Put the ingredients for the herb crust, except the dijon mustard, in a blender and pulse until all the ingredients are mixed into nice breadcrumbs. Don't over do it with the olive oil.

Remove the lamb from the oven and brush generously with dijon mustard. Place the breadcrumbs on a large plate or a deep tray and then dip the lamb several times into the breadcrumbs to ensure the lamb is coated completely. Allow the meat to rest.

When you have 10-12 minutes cooking time left for the potatoes and courgettes, place the lamb back into the oven for the final 10-12 mins and it will be ready to serve.

The simplest way to check if the meat is done to your likely is to use the finger test. Press on the meat here and there as it cooks, and compare the feeling of the meat with the following finger test.


  1. Hello from rural Missouri! This all sounds fantastic. I can't wait to try your rack of lamb recipe. I do something similar (isn't dijon and lamb the best combination?) but I never thought to add parmesan or romano (which I love) to the herb mix. Brilliant. Thanks for the delicious inspiration! :)

    1. Hi Susan! Thanks for the comment! I hope you enjoy the recipe, let me know how you get on! :)