Apple & Macadamia Crusted Lamb Rack w’ Roasted Potatoes & Truss Tomatoes

When it comes to lamb I am usually a devotee to the method of slow roasting, this typically entails marinating a shoulder of lamb in a concoction of balsamic vinegar, honey, chicken stock, garlic and rosemary, placing in a low oven and leaving the lamb until it is cooked to that melting, sweet, tender, fall off the bone stage that is just divine.  This method unfortunately is better reserved for the colder months.  As the weather warms up I need a new way to enjoy my beloved lamb and I have found it, apple and macadamia crusted lamb rack!

Apple, macadamia nuts, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil with sea salt and freshly ground pepper turns out to be the most amazing crust for a rack of lamb. 

The granny smith apple imparts all of its sweet juice that permeates the meat and sugars caramelise forming a beautiful almost charred crust.  The macadamias provide a buttery textured crunch that contrasts the sweet tender meat of the lamb perfectly.  The rosemary’s robustness adds a Mediterranean flavour that brings all of the ingredients together without overpowering them.  And the olive oil ties all of the ingredients together physically so that they can be pressed up against the lamb to form a protective flavourful crust.

To accompany the perfectly crusted rack of lamb I decided to whip up a couple of my old favourites, roasted potatoes and truss tomatoes.  I know I have said it before but I think it is SUPER important to parboil your potatoes prior to roasting them, this method ensures you have the perfect roast potato, one that is fluffy and soft in the middle with a crunchy, golden and crispy exterior.  I boil my potatoes to the point at which they start to crumble and break up a little when swirled in a bowl, I find this creates a textured edge that adds to their delicious crunch.  I then generously coat the spuds in extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and freshly ground pepper and place in a hot oven.  I love truss tomatoes usually as they are, but when roasted in the oven they are taken to new heights of deliciousness, they intensify in flavour and sweetness and are just amazing in fact the roasted truss tomatoes with a slice of fresh bread alone would usually suffice for dinner.

The tray that emerged from the oven filled with the apple and macadamia crusted lamb, roasted potatoes and sweetly intensified tomatoes made for one very happy home cook and hungry husband.  Enjoy. K x

Apple & Macadamia Crusted Lamb Rack w’ Roasted Potatoes & Truss Tomatoes
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 53

1kg chat potatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Frenched lamb racks, trimmed
1 granny smith apple, roughly chopped
½ cup macadamia nuts
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon rosemary, leaves picked
2 tablespoons olive oil
300g truss tomatoes

Preheat oven to 200°C.  Place the potatoes in a saucepan of salted cold water and bring to the boil.  Cook for 18-20 minutes or until tender.  Drain and return to the pan, add olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper and swirl the pan to slightly break up the potatoes.  Roast for 15 minutes.
In a food processor place the apple, macadamia nuts, garlic and rosemary and blitz until finely chopped.  Add the olive oil and pulse until combined.  Season the lamb with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and press the apple mixture into the lamb. 
Retrieve the potatoes from the oven and place the lamb and truss tomatoes on the tray.  Drizzle the truss tomatoes with olive oil and season.  Return to the oven and roast for 25 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking.  Serve the lamb with the crispy roasted potatoes and truss tomatoes.  Serves 4.

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