For a lamb recipe that uses classic flavours with a new twist, try this lamb with mint and pesto combination this week and you'll not regret it!
- 2 French-trimmed racks of lamb, ready-prepared from a supermarket or your butcher will do it for you
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 15g (½oz) butter
- for the herb crust
- 25g (1oz) fresh mint leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- grated zest 1 large lemon
- 50g (2oz) unsalted raw cashew nuts
- 50g (2oz) breadcrumbs
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- for the sauce
- 2tsp redcurrant jelly
- splash Marsala wine or dry sherry300ml (½pt) lamb stock
- 1 fresh sprig rosemary
Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, 400F, gas 6. Trim the fat from the lamb, leaving a little intact. Season well all over with sea salt and ground black pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When it begins to foam, add the lamb, skin-side down, and cook for 2 minutes on each side until browned all over. Remove and set aside.
For the herb crust, place the mint in a food processor with the garlic, lemon zest, cashew nuts, breadcrumbs and olive oil, and whizz to a fine, vibrant-green mixture. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Brush each rack with mustard, then firmly press with the herb mixture. Place in a large roasting tin, herb crust side up, and roast for 25 to 35 minutes until medium-pink. Rest, covered in foil, for 5 minutes before cutting into cutlets to serve.
While resting, make a quick sauce. Drain any excess fat from the frying pan and place back on the hob. Heat gently, then add the redcurrant jelly and warm until melted. Over a high heat, add a splash of Marsala or sherry and stir, making sure you have scraped up all the pan juices, then pour in the stock, add the rosemary and bubble over a high heat for about 5 minutes until it becomes syrupy. Strain through a sieve to serve. It will be a thin sauce but very well flavoured. Serve the lamb with new potatoes and seasonal asparagus spears.