Guard of honour for family and dogs

Jarod and I have just spent a week in a cottage on a working farm in Cornwall (more on that in another post coming soon). Our daily routine was dotted with hungry chickens, nosy dogs (meet Bobby below), braying horses and some of the best fresh food this country has to offer. It would’ve been rude not to make the most of it.

bobby
Bobby, one of the dogs who benefitted from the bones…

My family live down the road and I cooked this  lamb dish for them. It’s another one of those easy-to-prepare crowd pleasers that gets the requisite oohs and aahs.

Slightly more pleasing was the deep-seated grunts of pleasure it got from all the dogs on the farm who skulked past looking for treats… if a dog does that, then you’ve gotta throw it a bone.

Which we did…

The below serves 5 humans and four dogs.

Music to listen to while preparing this dish: ‘South Australia’ by The Fisherman’s Friends

Ingredients

  • 2 French trimmed racks of lamb, with the skin scored (if buying from the butcher, keep the trimmings for the sauce… ideas underneath the lamb pictures below)
  • 1 small pack thyme
  • 1 small pack rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Put aside one big sprig each of the rosemary and the thyme. In a bowl add the leaves of the rest of the herbs and mix with several good plugs of olive oil, mix robustly and let steep.
  3. Sear the racks of lamb in a hot pan, making sure the fat has been slightly rendered and the skin is caramelised and golden. This usually happens after 4-5 minutes.
  4. Once both racks are seared, arrange them in a roasting dish by interlacing the bones See the image below).
  5. Stuff the whole sprigs you put aside earlier in the cavity created by the interlaced ribs.
  6. Season the entire joint with salt and pepper and then pour over the herby olive oil mix.
  7. Start roasting.
  8. After 25 minutes, remove from the oven and cover with foil. Leave to rest for a full 20 minutes. This ensures the lamb is pink (see the second picture below).
  9. When the time is up, carve the meat (I carved in portion sizes of two – a rack is 7 chops so leaving a single chop per rack for the not-so-hungry).
  10. Serve with buttered new potatoes and greens.

Oh, and save the bones for the dogs.

Serve with Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vignoble Abeille 2011

guard_honour_full
The finished guard of honour, in all its glory.
lamb_carved
This is the colour you want the lamb to be and how it will look after following the above method.

To make a sauce

If you’ve kept the trimmings, this couldn’t be easier

  1. Put the trimmings in a big saucepan, cover with water, season and boil for 30 mins. Strain and put to one side.
  2. Put 250ml of red wine in a pan and reduce by half
  3. Add 250ml stock, a half onion and a sprig of thyme to the reduced wine, bring to a simmer and reduce by half.
  4. Remove the onion and herbs, lower the heat and add a knob of butter.
  5. Once the liquid is glossy it’s ready to decant to a jug and serve with the lamb.

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