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Roasted rack of lamb with gremolata

There’s something very special about serving a whole rack of lamb. It looks impressive to begin with, but when you cut it at the table and the inside is perfectly pink, it really delivers the “wow” factor. Lamb can be quite fatty, but this gremolata is so fresh and cuts through it. If you really want gravy too, save time by buying a good quality version from your local supermarket - there are many options available.

(serves 6, prep/cooking time: 1h30)

For the lamb:
•    1,2-1,6 kg rack of lamb
•    2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped
•    1 teaspoon salt flakes
•    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the roast potatoes:
•    about 1,2 kg peeled potatoes, cut into halves or quarters
•    salted water, for cooking
•    about 250 ml canola oil for frying (or duck fat, for a luxurious occasion)

For the gremolata:
•    2 punnets Italian parsley, finely chopped (or one punnet parsley and one punnet mint leaves)
•    rind of 2 lemons, finely grated
•    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped/grated
•    30 ml extra virgin olive oil
•    salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a roasting tray with foil, then place the lamb on top, fat-side up. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt & pepper. Roast uncovered for 1 hour.
While the meat is roasting, cook the potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes until just tender. Now heat the oil in a wide casserole and fry on all sides over medium-high heat until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm in the oven with the meat, if necessary.
Mix the ingredients for the gremolata together in a small mixing bowl. When the meat is ready, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter along with the potatoes. Top with the gremolata and serve at once, carving the rack at the table.

Note: If you love gravy, remember to pick up a good quality store-bought version from your local supermarket. During festive season time, there are many options to choose from.

Serve with a glass of Spier Creative Block 5:

Creative Block 5 is a medium- to full-bodied Bordeaux-inspired blend of five varieties. It has a deep ruby colour – almost black with a purple edge. The nose dazzles with complexity, showing decadent dark chocolate, cranberry depth as well as tomato leaf and thatch notes. The palate is juicy and sweet-fruited, framed by concentrated tannins and complemented by subtle hints rooibos tea and wet earth. There is a lovely freshness and finesse running through the red-fruited 2014 that is particular to the vintage. Superb balance and effortless weight leads to a long, classy finish.  Drink over the next decade. 

(Recipe: Ilse van der Merwe, Photography: Tasha Seccombe)

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