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Pesto Crusted Rack of Lamb on Puy Lentils

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MATT DAWSON
PA

I'm a massive lamb fan, particularly when pink and tender and accompanied by this puy lentil salad. And don't be shy, make sure you pick every last morsel of lamb off the bone, no knife and fork required! Wine expert Ewan Lacey helps me match this dish to the perfect Bordeaux wine.

PREPARATION: 30 mins
COOKING: 45 mins
SERVES: 2

YOU WILL NEED

3-4 tbsp olive oil
2 x rack of lamb, each with four bones, French trimmed
Coarsely ground pepper & rock salt
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
A handful of basil leaves
35g pine nuts
20g parmesan, grated
Handful of dry breadcrumbs
1-2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 x medium carrots, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
3 sticks of celery, finely diced
200ml Marsala wine
150ml chicken or vegetable stock
125g dried puy lentils (or 250g if pre-cooked)
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

HOW TO PREPARE

1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Season the lamb with salt & pepper and then lay the racks fat side down into the pan. Fry until the skin has turned a deep brown. Remove from the pan and leave to cool while you make the pesto crust.

2. Place the garlic, a handful of basil leaves, and the pine nuts into a food processor, and blitz until it forms a rough paste. Tip into a mixing bowl.

3. Add the grated parmesan and breadcrumbs to the mixture and season with salt & pepper. Use a splash of olive oil and stir to bring it all together into a pesto. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

4. Brush the lamb with 1 tbsp of the Dijon mustard and then pat the pesto mixture on to form a crust, pressing it on with your hands. Put the lamb into a roasting tin and then into the oven and cook for 12-15 mins. Rest briefly.

5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in the pan you cooked the lamb in, and gently fry the finely diced carrots, onion and celery. Add the Marsala wine and a cupful of stock to make a gravy. Add the lentils and follow the cooking instructions on the pack. When done, fold through the chopped parsley and a good dollop of Dijon mustard.

6. Slice the lamb cutlets and serve on a bed of lentils.

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