Recipe: luscious lamb with marmalade and mustard crumb topping

When the weather is freezing and miserable, there’s nothing better than a delicious home cooked meal to come home to.

This tasty lamb dish, from chef Peter Gordon, is absolutely perfect for serving up for a hearty dinner, Sunday meal or a dinner party.

The lovely rack of lamb is complemented with a tasty mustard and marmalade crumb topping, and served with roasted baby vegetables, and a watercress and pumpkin seed salad.

It’s a beautifully presented dish, and is sure to satisfy even the fussiest of diners!

You can even make the topping a few days beforehand to save time, and you can even top the racks the day before - just remember to bring them to room temperature.

The dish was created by chef Peter, who is renowned for his culinary philosophy and unique fusion cooking style. His cooking focuses on a mix of flavours, from through to the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe, along with his native New Zealand.

This particular lamb dish serves four people, takes 20 minutes to prepare, and 30 minutes to cook.

Ingredients:
• 2 7-bone lamb racks, fat trimmed
• 60g butter
• 2 tbsp marmalade or apricot jam
• 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard
• 1 tea-cup coarse breadcrumbs (or use Japanese panko crumbs for that extra touch)
• 1 small white fleshed onion, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
• Olive oil or butter
• 2 tsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
• ½ red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
• 600g baby vegetables (baby carrots, courgettes, sweetcorn and fennel)
• 4 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds, pinenuts or slivered almonds
• 1 large bunch watercress, washed and drained (optional)
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 190C/fan 170°C/gas 5.
2. Lightly season the lamb racks all over and bring to room temperature on a plate, covered with cling-film.
3. In a small pan, melt the butter and marmalade with a little salt and pepper, then stir in the mustard and take off the heat. Mix in about half of the breadcrumbs – slowly adding enough until you have a good coating.  Spoon the topping evenly across the racks, pressing it down over the meat.
4. Sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil or butter until lightly caramelised, then mix in the rosemary and chilli.
5. Place the vegetables in a roasting dish and mix in the caramelised onions, season, then put the lamb racks on top.
6. Roast in the centre of the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat.  If the crumbs are becoming too dark as it cooks, cover loosely with foil.   Turn the over off and keep the door ajar to let the lamb rest for 5–10 minutes before serving.  
7. Place the pumpkin seeds in a small fry-pan with a tbsp olive oil and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until they begin to pop a little. Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.
8. To serve, take the racks and carefully cut in half.  Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the veg, mix it in and spoon onto 4 warm plates.  Place the lamb on top of the veg.  Decorate with watercress and scatter with pumpkin seeds.  

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