(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)