In her final delicious. column, MasterChef winner Elena Duggan bows out with a recipe that puts her own spin on a classic Aussie lamb roast.
Elena Duggan bows out with a classic.
MY FIRST MASTERCHEF AUDITION involved a Mystery Box. I cooked a crusted lamb rack with a kale salad and hasselback potatoes. My main dish in the final, several months later, was twice-cooked lamb with a layered sauce, macadamia onion puree and some pretty pickled vegetables. Similar ingredients, but a far more polished treatment.
Lamb bookended an incredible chapter in my life. So as I pass on the baton with my last recipe for delicious., I can’t imagine a better Australian favourite as my swansong.
As a kid, it was a treat in our house to have crumbed lamb cutlets (my mum made the best ones; I’m sure your mum did, too). There’s something so satisfying about having a perfect portion of meat attached to a convenient handle that provides the joy of eating with your hands but doesn’t actually leave you all that messy. Roasting a lamb rack is also far more time efficient – it cooks quickly compared with a whole leg. A good thing once everyone smells it roasting and starts asking, “How long until dinner?”
It’s no secret I love green vegetables; brussels sprouts in particular. This is one of my favourite ways to enjoy them – the anchovies act as seasoning, and their dissolved texture will win over even the biggest critic. The potatoes are a classic addition to any roast, and the key is to not just parboil them, but to fully cook them through to release all the steam, before roasting on high for a super-crispy outside and fluffy inside.
It’s a simple twist, another version to add to your roast lamb and veg repertoire. No overly complex techniques here, just tasty cooking that everyone can achieve – delicious!
LAMB RACK WITH SPROUT SALAD AND CRISPY POTATOES
SERVES 4-6 You will need a meat thermometer.
1kg baby chat potatoes
1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil 2 x 6-cutlet Frenched lamb racks,
at room temperature Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and
juice of 1 lemon 4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained (reserve 2 tbs oil) 1/4 cup (50g) capers in brine, rinsed, drained 500g brussels sprouts, shredded 1 cup (120g) frozen baby peas, thawed Mint leaves, to serve
Preheat oven to 220°C. Grease a baking tray and line with baking paper.
Bring potatoes to boil in salted water and cook for 12-14 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to prepared tray and slightly squash each potato. Drizzle with 1 tbs oil and 1/2 tsp salt flakes. Roast for 40 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, rub lamb with lemon zest and remaining 2 tbs oil. Heat a large ovenproof frypan over medium-high heat and cook lamb, fat-side down, for 4 minutes, turning halfway, or until browned. Transfer to oven and roast for 12-14 minutes for medium-rare (a meat thermometer inserted into centre will read 54°C). Transfer lamb to a plate and rest for 10 minutes.
Place anchovies and reserved oil in a frypan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until anchovies have broken down slightly. Add capers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until they start to open. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Increase heat to high, add sprouts and cook, stirring sparingly, for 3 minutes or until lightly charred. Add lemon juice and peas, and heat through for 1 minute. Serve with lamb and potato, scattered with capers and mint.