Rory’s Roast Rack of Lamb with Summer Marjoram
Summer marjoram is my desert island herb. If I was allowed only one herb to cook with, summer marjoram would be the one. It’s great with lamb, chicken and turkey. I use it in dressings, relishes and salsas. Fish and vegetables also benefit from its smoky sweet flavour. If possible have some roast chicken stock to hand for the gravy in this recipe. It will make for an intense, rich and full flavour. The butter adds richness, shine and silkyness to the gravy. The butter is optional but I strongly urge you to try it.
Most racks of lamb have 8 or 9 ribs, so decide how many chops you wish to serve to your guests. I find that 3 are usually plenty and indeed 2 are often enough.
2 racks of lamb, 8-9 chops per rack
2 tablespoons (2 American tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
4 tablespoons (4 American tablespoons + 4 teaspoons) chopped Summer marjoram
salt and pepper
10fl ozs (300ml/1 1/4 cups) roast chicken stock
2ozs (50g/1/2 stick) butter
Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7.
Mix the olive oil, garlic and half the marjoram to form a paste. Lightly score the fat on top of the lamb, smear on the paste and season with salt and pepper. This can be done several hours ahead. Place the meat on a roasting pan and into the preheated oven. Roast for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the racks of lamb and how well done you like your meat. Remove from the oven. Place the racks on a serving dish and keep warm. Degrease the roasting pan and place on the heat. Deglaze the pan with the stock, whisking to dissolve any caramelised pan juices. Strain the liquid into a small saucepan and add the remaining marjoram and butter. Allow to come to a simmer and taste. If necessary simmer for a little longer to thicken the liquid a bit more and to concentrate the flavour. I like the consistency to be slightly syrupy and I serve just a little of the rich and concentrated juice.
Carve the lamb and serve the sauce sparingly. Pass the extra sauce around in a sauceboat.
Lamb with Wild Garlic
Follow the above recipe but replace the marjoram with 8 tablespoons (8 American tablespoons + 8 teaspoons) of wild garlic.