Roasted Lamb Rack with Peperonata

This deliciously light dish makes the perfect Summer meal. It works well for a couple or a crowd. I like to serve this with some crispy, roasted potatoes. Although it needs nothing else, I’ve chosen to add some strips of chargrilled zucchini. They look so pretty and taste wonderful too.

Although this requires a little preparation, the peperonata can be made the day before and is served at room temperature.

Serves 4

  • 2 lamb racks, with 8 cutlets each, French trimmed*
  • 1 large red capsicum
  • 1 large yellow capsicum
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and torn in half
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 1 handful of fresh marjoram sprigs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra, to brush
  • 1-2 tbs sherry vinegar
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper to taste

Firstly, place the capsicums under a preheated grill and grill, turning constantly until the skin has blackened all over. Place in a plastic bag, turn off grill and leave capsicums for 10 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slip the skin off and discard. Split open the capsicums and remove the ribs and seeds. Now cut into strips approximately 7mm wide. This does not need to be exact. Set aside.

In a medium fry-pan heat the olive oil and gently fry the diced onion. When starting to soften, add the minced garlic and the capsicums. Cook gently for about 10 minutes,, then add the black olives, capers and tomatoes. Gently cook for another 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Place the mix in a sieve over a bowl to collect the liquid.  Put the liquid from the peperonata back into the fry-pan and over medium heat reduce it until it looks syrupy. Remove from heat, add 1 – 2 tbs vinegar and combine with peperonata and marjoram in a bowl. This can be made the day before, just bring to room temperature before serving and then add the marjoram.

Preheat the oven to 190c. Cut the lamb racks in half, then brush with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and brown the lamb racks, fat side down, for 2 minutes. Turn over and sear for another 2 minutes, then transfer the pan to the oven and roast fat side up for 10 – 15 minutes for medium rare. Remove from oven and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes before cutting the lamb racks into double cutlets. Put a large spoonful of the peperonata onto each plate and place two double cutlets on top. A few marjoram leaves and a little drizzle of olive oil can also be added.

*French trimmed or “frenched” is a chef and butcher’s term for trimming and cleaning bones of meat, fat or sinew.