Lamb rack with red wine and sour fig sauce
– Melanie Albertyn
The Overberg is renowned for its lamb and Melanie loves cooking with local produce. That’s why she devised this dish with its wine sauce that uses jam made from sour figs picked at their beach house at Brandfontein. The lamb is served with a spinach and date salad.
SERVES 6 Preparation time: 15 min Marinating time: 20 min Cooking time: 20-25 min
500 ml (2 c) red wine 250 ml (1 c) balsamic vinegar 1 lamb stock cube salt and pepper 125 ml (½ c) sour fig jam (or fig jam)
balsamic vinegar 4 lamb racks, with 4 bones each salt and pepper 15 ml (1 T) butter 15 ml (1 T) canola oil fresh rosemary and thyme to taste
½ red onion, cut in paper-thin slices 100 g dates, chopped 15 ml (1 T) red wine vinegar 15 ml (1 T) olive oil salt pinch of brown sugar 1 pack baby spinach 75 g almonds, toasted pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 220 °C. 1 Sauce Put the red wine, balsamic vinegar and lamb stock cube in a saucepan, season with salt and pepper and boil until the sauce has reduced by half.
2 Stir in the jam and reduce until the sauce thickens slightly. 3 Meat Sprinkle a little balsamic vinegar over the meat and season with salt and pepper. 4 Heat a ridged pan, add the butter and oil and fry the lamb racks, fatty side down, until the fat has been rendered. Rapidly brown the meaty sides. Sprinkle the herbs on top. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes or until done but still slightly pink inside. Keep warm. 5 Salad Marinate the onion slices and dates in the vinegar and olive oil for 20 minutes. Season with a little salt and add a pinch of sugar. 6 Arrange the spinach on a salad platter, spoon the date mixture over and sprinkle the almonds and some pomegranate seeds on top. 7 Pour a little of the wine and fig sauce over each lamb rack and serve with the salad.
Making this dish requires little effort. The sauce looks after itself and after you’ve shown the meat the business end of a ridged pan it continues to cook in the oven. Instead of cooking the chops individually, Melanie thought innovatively and prepared lamb racks which she gave an indigenous twist with the wine and sour fig sauce. She also rendered the lamb fat, making the dish healthier even after adding a little oil and butter. The salad is fresh, healthy and easy to make.