Lamb cutlets with rotato rösti & fresh herb pistou
Lamb rack is a beautiful cut, and great for a special treat – perfect or a date or a dinner party. It’s not exactly cheap though, so if you want, use lamb chops instead. Technically, one rack is supposed to feed four (two cutlets each) but that never happens in my house – my husband and I can easily demolish 4 cutlets each. So either use 2 lamb racks for big eaters, or just cook lots of delicious loin or shoulder chops.
A pistou is a bit like the French version of Italian pesto without the pine nuts. This is my version I created for lamb, and it’s damn tasty – don’t be put off by the anchovies, you can’t ‘taste’ them as such, they just add a wonderful salty flavour that really makes the sauce. If you really must, you can use 1 tsp Dijon mustard instead. The potato rösti are to die for – so easy to make and people will go nuts for them! Serves 4.
1 Quality Mark lamb rack with 8 cutlets (or use shoulder or loin chops)
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup oil
½ cup fresh parmesan, grated
1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar (or use lemon juice)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 220°C.
If you like, trim the fat layer off the lamb rack. Rub the rack with oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan, until it’s very hot, then sear the lamb for a few minutes each side to brown (or if you leave the fat layer on, cook this side longer to render out some of the fat and crisp it up nicely). Transfer lamb to a roasting dish and bake in the oven for 12-16 minutes depending on how you like it done. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
Grate the potatoes then squeeze out as much liquid as you can in handfuls – the more the better. Combine the potato, rosemary and melted butter in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Press down into 5-6 patties about 2cm thick. Heat oil over a medium-high heat and fry the rösti until golden brown on both sides, about 5-7 minutes.
Transfer to the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes to finish cooking while the lamb rests.
Place all ingredients in a food processor or mortar and pestle and blend (or chop everything very finely). You may need to add more oil if it’s too thick. Taste and season.
Slice the lamb rack into 1 or 2 bone cutlets, drizzle with a little pistou and serve with the rösti and a salad or vegetables.