Monday, 21 April 2014
Easter. Martha Stewart's Roast Rack of Lamb with Mint and Capers, crispy potatoes and asparagus
Easter back home reminds me of spring, baby chicks, and a "paastak" which is a large twig which we decorate with everything Easter such as little easter eggs and baby chicks. The twig often has flower buds and stands for spring. We also paint Easter eggs and eat Easter bread, which is similar to the Australian Easter Bun, but not as sweet.
Easter in Australia is in Autumn. No "paastak", baby chicks or flower buds, but falling leaves, colder mornings and Easter Buns. It is different, but not in a bad way.
I have been in Australia for 5 years and I had never tried an Easter Bun until last Wednesday. It was a cold Easter Bun with butter and I had it at work. It was sweet and tasted like cinnamon and sugar. Better than the Dutch paasbrood. Then I had another Easter Bun on Thursday. And two on Friday. And another two on Saturday. From the oven. With butter. I am addicted. They are so good! Why haven't I tried them before?!?!
Although it is autumn in Australia, it is still very warm and sunny and there are flowers everywhere. I love this time of the year! It's not too hot, and not too cold. It's perfect!
In Australia, one traditional Easter dish is lamb. It's not something we often eat back home, and that's too bad. Because Australian lamb is delicious! This version from Martha Stewart has an amazing combination of mint, capers and lemon. The mint makes the dish fresh and the lemon and capers make it tangy and punchy. I added some crispy potatoes and some easy asparagus as side dishes. If you want to cook something delicious and easy then give this lamb a go!
For the lamb
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 racks of lamb, frenched
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
For the caper mint sauce
- 1/2 cup salt packed capers, rinsed
- 2 cups fresh mint
- zest of 2 lemons
- lemon juice from 2 lemons
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the side dishes
- baby potatoes
- bunch of fresh asparagus
Make the lamb by whisking together the garlic, mint, lemon zest, juice, olive oil and the salt and pepper. You can also mix this with a stick blender. Cover the lamb in the mixture and put in the fridge overnight.
The next day, let the lamb stand in room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. According to Martha's recipe, you remove the lamb from the marinade and brush it dry. I just threw the whole thing in a hot pan (or skillet). Yes, it splattered a bit, but I thought it would be such a waste to throw that marinade out!
Brown the lamb for 2 or 3 minutes on each side until browned and put it in the oven in a roasting pan or skillet. Martha's recipe says you need to cook the lamb for 20-30 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees. I think it is important to have a look how thick your lamb is. If it is thin, and the pieces are small, you probably do not need 20-30 minutes. My lamb was done in 10 minutes. It should still be quite red when it comes out because you need to rest it for a while, preferably for 10 minutes or longer.
Making the caper mint sauce is easy. Just throw everything in the food processor and blend. Add lamb to serving platter and spread sauce on top.
For the potatoes, cut each baby potato in two and boil for 5 minutes. The potatoes won't be completely cooked yet, but this is a good thing because otherwise they will fall apart. Heat some oil in a pan, season the potatoes with salt and pepper and perhaps some Italian herbs and fry the potatoes until they are golden all over. Transfer the potatoes to the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes on 200 degrees.
Cooking the asparagus is easy, just heat some oil in a pan and fry them for 3 to 4 minutes. Top with some lemon juice.
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