BBQ this weekend? Rack of Lamb with Creamy Garlic Potato Gratin

Barbecued Rack of Lamb
Barbecued Rack of Lamb
Looks like we are in for a sunny weekend so it’s time to crank up the barbecue.

I love lamb, but many people are turned off lamb because they find it fatty. Despite being a big fan of my cooking, my husband flatly refuses to touch it –  he develops a peculiar expression which includes flared nostrils, raised eyebrows and an overactive Adams Apple when presented with anything on his plate which could be lamb in disguise (yes I have done that, but hey you can’t deprive a kiwi girl her lamb!).

However, rack of lamb on the barbecue is an exception, it’s pretty lean and can be cooked until well done without losing tenderness. It’s super easy to prepare – simply rub the rack (which should be at room temperature) with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and cover with thinly sliced garlic and some rosemary. If you have time, leave it to marinate for half an hour (not in the fridge), or longer (in the fridge).

Have the barbecue hot, but remember to scrape off the garlic and rosemary before cooking, otherwise they burn and taste bitter. Sear the meaty side first and turn it over and lower the heat. Cook for around 20 minutes for medium, longer for well done. I can’t be too exact as barbecue heat is tricky to regulate – so take the rack off and slice through partially to see how well done you are. As with all meat – it will benefit from resting covered in foil before serving.

One of my favourite things to eat with lamb is a creamy garlicky potato gratin. It is better made with cream but if you don’t have any you can use butter and milk instead. Peel and slice the potatoes, enough to fill your oven dish about 3/4 full. Thinly slice an onion and a garlic clove.

Melt a good chunk of butter (around 100g) in a pan and before it bubbles add the garlic.   Now add the onion and sauté until soft.   Add the sliced potato, cream or milk (or half and half) season with salt and pepper. Simmer on the lowest heat you have for around 10 minutes. You want the potatoes to remain intact. Put the potatoes into an oven dish, top with sliced spring onions (optional) and grated cheese. I prefer gruyere but cheddar is fine also. 

Bake in the oven at a moderate heat (180 degrees) for around 45 minutes. It should be crispy and golden on top and soft and creamy inside. Yum!

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