Roast best end of local lamb, ratatouille and fondant potatoes

Ingredients

    For the herb crust:

    250g dried breadcrumb

    125g picked parsley

    50g olive oil

    12g garlic

    salt and pepper

    For the lamb:

    1 best end (rack) of lamb with 8 rib bones, French trimmed

    olive oil

    knob of butter

    salt and pepper

    2 tbsp Dijon mustard

    For the ratatouille:

    1 courgette

    1 aubergine

    1 red pepper

    1 yellow pepper

    1 red onion

    180ml olive oil

    3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1 clove of garlic, crushed

    100ml tomato sauce

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, chopped small

    basil leaves

    For the fondant potatoes:

    2 large baking potatoes

    50g butter

    1 garlic clove, crushed

    sprig of thyme

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Main serves 4

Looking for a showstopper of a meal this Easter? Look no further than this lamb recipe from Michael Caines

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1.

In a food processor, blend the breadcrumbs into a fine crumb. Blend in the parsley and garlic and then pour in the olive oil gradually.

2.

Season and pass through a medium-sized drum sieve.

3.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

4.

Season the lamb joint with salt and pepper. Put a little olive oil in a small, heavy roasting tin and put into the oven to heat.

5.

Remove from the oven, add a little butter and place the lamb fat-side down in the tin.

6.

Add the rosemary. Return to the oven and roast for 5 minutes. Turn the lamb over and roast for another 5 minutes, for medium rare. For medium-well done, roast for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.

7.

Transfer to a clean tray, brush with some Dijon mustard and press into the herb crumb, covering the mustard with the crumb.

8.

Place either under the grill to warm the crust through and reheat, or place in the oven for 10 minutes.

9.

Top and tail the courgettes, then cut them into quarters lengthways. Now, cut each quarter to your required shape (square or diamond). Cut the aubergine in half lengthways, then in half again. Cut each quarter in half, into the same size pieces as the courgettes.

10.

Take the red and yellow peppers and cut them into quarters and remove the seeds. Cut them into even lengths and into pieces the same size as the courgettes and aubergines.

11.

Peel the red onion and cut in half from top to bottom. Remove the root section, then cut each half into three wedges and, finally, cut these in half across their length.

12.

Heat 30ml olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the red onions, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and cook slowly until soft and drain through a colander to remove excess fat.

13.

Meanwhile, in a non-stick pan, pan-fry each vegetable separately in 30ml olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, until soft. Leave them to drain in a colander (note: you can use one colander to drain your vegetables, just put them in sections). Let them cool before mixing them all together. Tip: If you are doing your prep in advance, you can refrigerate them at this stage to use later.

14.

Heat 30ml olive oil in a large pan and add the crushed garlic. Cook for a minute, then add the tomato sauce and bring to the boil. Add all the cooked vegetables and the chopped basil and stir gently together whilst reheating.

15.

Put the ratatouille into a serving bowl and garnish with some small basil leaves, or roughly chopped larger ones. Try adding some chopped black olives on top, too – they make a nice addition.

16.

Peel the potatoes and cut each one in half. Using a 40cm round cutter, cut out a cylinder from each half and block them o to an even height.

17.

Set oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3.

18.

Melt the butter in a small thick-bottomed pan (preferably copper) and add the potatoes, garlic, thyme and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Colour the base of each potato cylinder well before turning them over.

19.

dd a splash of water and cover the pan with a buttered paper. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft in the middle.

20.

Carve the lamb into cutlets. Spoon the ratatouille onto the plate, top with a couple of lamb cutlets. Place the fondant potato onto the plate. Finish the dish with a spoonful of resting jus.

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