Pesto Lamb Racks with Sandy’s Special Goat’s Cheese Mash
Lamb racks are a super-easy and luxurious meal to cook for guests (and your butcher will usually be happy to trim them for you). Using a bit of pesto to make a tasty crust is an easy way to add lots of flavour that won’t fall off in the pan. Perfect! The mash here is my husband’s specialty, combining two of his favourite things in the world: feta and mashed potato.
- 6 lamb racks, trimmed
- olive oil spray
- 6 tbsp basil pesto
- 6 large floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 1/4 cup trim milk
- 100g goat’s feta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Photo: James Ensing-Trussell, Topic Photography
Make the mash first. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and mash well or put through a ricer. Add the olive oil, sour cream and milk and whip with a fork. As soon as you have a smooth purée, crumble the feta into the mash and mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper as required, then set aside to keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Heat a grill pan until hot. Spray the lamb racks with oil. Put them into the pan and sear on both sides until nicely caramelised. Spread each lamb rack with pesto.
Transfer the pan to the oven, and cook the racks for about 10 minutes until medium rare – they’re best when still quite pink inside.
Slice the racks in half and place 2 halves on each plate. Serve the lamb with the mash and a green salad with balsamic dressing.
Stephen Morris’s wine recommendations
Churton 2008 Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough has restraint and wonderful floral notes. It’s a wine note nonsense but the phrase "little white flowers" jumps to mind. $25.
And Mt Beautiful 2008 Sauvignon Blanc - Cheviot Hills, North Canterbury - has a deep palate with layers of flavour. Fruit and then yeasty complexity, fresh and then weighty. And a bargain under $20.
And as we have red meat, with the lamb a Pinot Noir - but a herbal one rather than a mushroomy or earthy one. Earth's End 2008 PN (Central Otago) has lots of bright fruit, and a touch of dirt (but not heavy earthiness). It's smartly priced, too, at $25. Or, to splash out, hunt for the Waipara Hills Pinot Noir 2007 - but the hard to find Central Otago version. Very sexy black cherry and spice on the nose. Thyme and rosemary. $35-40.