Sunday, September 2, 2012

Spicy lamb cutlets with harissa and mint sambal


This is lamb exactly my kind of way: gorgeous cutlets- those not frenched within an inch of their life - so there is the odd jewel of fat, doused in lip smacking condiments of texture and spicy kick. Its not at all prissy – this is big, gutsy, rustic flavours best enjoyed by getting your hands in there and getting involved with your food.
It works best if you let the lamb have a Cleopatra inspired bath in the yoghurt marinade. Like most good food, a wallowing in flavour ensures the meat is moist and spectacularly tasty. If time is against you, I suggest you actually reserve some of the marinade before you add the lamb, and serve this in place of the plain yoghurt just to ensure all the flavours are properly in play.

Serves 4-6
1 french cut rack of lamb
3 cloves garlic, crushed
200g yoghurt
1 ½ tsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
Salt to season

Mint sambal
1 ½ cups fresh mint
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2/3 cup coconut
¼ cup raisins
¼ tsp salt
Juice and zest of 1 lime

500g plum or kumato tomato, cored, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Aleppo pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds, finely ground in spice mill
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

Greek yoghurt to serve.

Prepare the lamb by adding all of the marinade ingredients to a zip lock bag with the lamb, giving it a quick jiggle to coat then into the fridge for as long as you can bare it.
For the harissa relish, add all ingredients to a food processor and blitz to combine and a rough chunky puree has formed. Season and set aside. This will last up to a week, covered in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Remove the lamb from the marinade. Place an oven proof fry pan over medium heat and seal the lamb on all sides. Place in the oven and cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Meanwhile make the sambal by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and blitzing to combine.

Remove the lamb from the heat, slice into individual cutlets. Top with the harissa and mint sambal and dollops of yoghurt.

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