Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tarragon Cream and Almond Crusted Rack of Lamb with Gruyere Rosti Potatoes

Tarragon known as "little dragon" is derived from the French word estragon and the Latin word dracunculus. The dragon connection may have originated from the herbs fiery tang or from its serpent-like roots. Incidentally tarragon was also believed to cure the bites of snakes, serpents and other venomous creatures. It's delicate flavor predominant in French cuisine promotes appetite, complementing a wide range of poultry and is best used sparingly.

Paired with beautiful Australian lamb in this recipe, tarragon diffuses a warm, subtle flavor through the smooth cream, contrasted by the taste and texture of toasted, crunchy almonds, fresh, earthy young pea sprout shoots and crisp potato rosti cake infused with robust Swiss Gruyere cheese.

Serves 2-4


For the rack of lamb: 1 Australian rack of Lamb; 200g soft cream cheese/ sour cream; 100g fresh white breadcrumbs; 2 tbsp fresh tarragon; 15 ml milk; 50 g flaked almonds; 1 large onion, finely chopped; 50 g butter

For the rosti potatoes: 3 peeled large Yukon Gold potatoes, grated; 1 small onion, finely chopped; 1 egg; 115 g grated Gruyere cheese; ½ cup breadcrumbs; 2 tablespoons butter/ vegetable oil

Method: Combine grated potatoes, chopped onion, egg and grated Gruyere cheese, using the breadcrumbs to shape into round patties no higher than ½ inch high to ensure the potato cooks through and is crisp on the outside. Melt butter into a frying pan or heat together vegetable oil until hot, brown potato patties over high heat, about 3 - 4 minutes each side, until well browned on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. In a bowl mix the cream cheese and breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp tarragon, 1 tbsp milk, salt and pepper to taste. Cut rack of lamb into three. Cover the bones with foil, put a good dollop of the cream mixture and spread evenly on top of each rack of lamb, press almond flakes on top. Bake in oven for 15 – 20 minutes if you like it rare or a little longer according to your preference. Stick potato rosti in the oven along with the lamb to warm through and crisp further.

Allow lamb to rest for 5-8 minutes, remove foil from lamb bones, serve atop a rosti potato patty with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with pea sprout shoots.

Looking for another lamb-tastic recipe?
Pesto Double Lamb Cutlets with Smoked Pumpkin Risone

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