Rack of Lamb

with Leeks and Sherry Vinegar Sauce

Ingredients

  • 75 g/3 oz fine, fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, e.g. parsley, thyme, tarragon and rosemary
  • 2 racks of lamb, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz sherry vinegar
  • 300 ml/½ pint lamb stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Leek Sauce

  • 2–3 leeks, carefully washed
  • 15 g/½ oz butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz white wine
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz chicken stock
  • about25–50 ml/1–2 fl oz double cream, to finish
  • 25 g/1 oz Cumbrian air-dried ham, cut into thin strips

Method

To make the leek sauce, shred and blanch for a second in boiling water. Drain and refresh in cold water, to halt cooking. Heat the butter in a pan, add the shallots and cook until softened but not coloured. Add the white wine and stock, bring to the boil and reduce to about 50 ml/2 fl oz. Just before serving, reheat, stir in the cream, the leeks and ham.

To make the herb crust, mix the breadcrumbs and chopped herbs together. Roast the racks of lamb in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) Gas Mark 6 for about 10–15 minutes, depending on their size. When almost cooked, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and spread the mustard lightly over the back of the racks. Press on the herb crust, pouring the fat from the roasting pan over the crumbs. Return to the oven or place under the grill to crisp the crumbs.

Add the sherry vinegar to the pan, bring to the boil and reduce to about 1 tablespoon. Add the lamb stock, bring back to the boil and reduce by about half.

To serve, place the leek sauce on heated dinner plates and pour the sherry vinegar sauce around. Carve the racks of lamb and place 3 cutlets on each plate. Baby leeks cooked in red wine make a delicious accompaniment.