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Grilled rack of lamb with ratatouille

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Difficulty

For the lamb:

  • 1 rack of lamb with 8-10 ribs, french trimmed
  • 1./2 head of garlic, crushed or minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
For the ratatouille:
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large aubergine, diced
  • 2 red peppers, sliced lengthways and cut into 2cm squares
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 3 courgettes, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • water
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

This rack of lamb recipe by Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon comes served with a rustic ratatouille. The vegetables in ratatouille – which include courgette and aubergine – are often cooked in stages to add texture to the final result. The rack of lamb can either be grilled or put on the barbecue; it will taste great either way.

1. Make the marinade for the lamb rack by mixing 4 tbsp of olive oil, 1.2 head of garlic and a generous amount of salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the rack of lamb, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.

2. To start the ratatouille, preheat the oven to 80 degrees. Blanch the tomatoes for a few seconds in boiling salted water to take the skin off, then plunge the tomatoes into cold water. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, remove the core and pulp using a small sharp knife

3. Place the tomato flesh in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper and 1 tbsp of caster sugar. Stir well

4. Spread the tomatoes on a baking tray and add 3 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 head of garlic – slightly crushed open. Cook the tomatoes in the oven at 80 degrees for 2 hours.Once cooked, remove the garlic cloves and herbs and cut the tomatoes in half.

5. Saute the cubes of aubergine in a pan over a medium heat with olive oil, 3 chopped cloves of garlic, sage leaves and salt and pepper. Stop cooking when they are tender and cover with a  lid to keep them moist. Remove the sage and reserve

6. Cook the peppers over a medium heat in a saute pan with the chopped onions, balsamic vinegar, a dash of water, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper

7. Once suitably sauteed, remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pan with the lid on. Set aside

8. Dice the courgettes into 1cm cubes and saute in a pan over a medium heat with 3 cloves of peeled and chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 sprigs of chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Cook gently until lightly coloured and allow to cool in the pan with a lid on and reserve

9. Dice the courgettes into 1cm cubes and saute in a pan over a medium heat with 3 cloves of peeled and chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 sprigs of chopped thyme, salt and pepper. Cook gently until lightly coloured and soft. Allow to cool in the pan with a lid on and reserve

10. To cook the lamb rack, remove the lamb from the marinade and preheat the oven to 180 degrees.  On a hot griddle pan or barbecue, place the lamb skin-side down and seal until it starts to crisp. Grill with care on all sides before placing the lamb on a roasting tray, covering with the remaining marinade

11. Finish in the oven for about 10 to achieve a medium-rare finish. To check the temperature of the lamb, simply stick a small knife into the flesh, then put it carefully on your lips. If it is warm then the meat is pink and ready. Strain the pan juices and set aside the lamb to rest for 4-5 minutes

12. Combine all of the ratatouille ingredients in a large saucepan and reheat gently until warm

13. Serve the ratatouille on plates and place the pieces of lamb on top. Drizzle with the strained pan juices

Ingredients

For the lamb:

  • 1 rack of lamb with 8-10 ribs, french trimmed
  • 1./2 head of garlic, crushed or minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
For the ratatouille:
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large aubergine, diced
  • 2 red peppers, sliced lengthways and cut into 2cm squares
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 3 courgettes, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • water
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

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