Peter Gordon's Roast New Zealand Rack of Lamb with Marmalade Mustard Crumb Topping

Whether it’s for a dinner party or just supper round the kitchen table for two, Peter’s gorgeous roast New Zealand lamb rack with mustard crumb topping, roasted baby vegetables, served with tasty watercress and pumpkin seed salad is really simple and once you’ve cooked it once, is bound to remain a staple feature in your repertoire.

Just follow Peter’s handy hints and for a fool proof recipe sure to wow time and time again.

Serves: 4, Preparation Time: 20mins, Cooking time: 30mins
You can make the topping a few days beforehand to save time, and you can even top the racks the day before, just remember to bring them to room temperature
2, 7-bone lamb racks, fat trimmed
60g butter
2 tbsp marmalade or apricot jam
1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tea-cup coarse breadcrumbs (or use Japanese panko crumbs for that extra touch)
1 small white fleshed onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
olive oil or butter
2 tsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
½ red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
600g baby vegetables (baby carrots, courgettes, sweetcorn and fennel)
4 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds, pinenuts or slivered almonds
1 large bunch watercress, washed and drained (optional)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 190C/fan 170°C/gas 5.
Lightly season the lamb racks all over and bring to room temperature on a plate, covered with clingfilm.

In a small pan, melt the butter and marmalade with a little salt and pepper, then stir in the mustard and take off the heat. Mix in about half of the breadcrumbs – slowly adding enough until you have a good coating. Spoon the topping evenly across the racks, pressing it down over the meat.

Sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil or butter until lightly caramelised, then mix in the rosemary and chilli.

Place the vegetables in a roasting dish and mix in the caramelised onions, season, then put the lamb racks on top.

Roast in the centre of the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat. If the crumbs are becoming too dark as it cooks, cover loosely with foil. Turn the over off and keep the door ajar to let the lamb rest for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Place the pumpkin seeds in a small fry-pan with a tbsp olive oil and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until they begin to pop a little. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.

To serve, take the racks and carefully cut in half. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the veg, mix it in and spoon onto 4 warm plates. Place the lamb on top of the veg. Decorate with watercress and scatter with pumpkin seeds.

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