With tender flesh and a subtle flavour, lamb, the meat of a sheep under one year old, is a favourite for roasting and grilling. The delicate flavour is often enhanced by spices, herbs and marinades with popular cuts including lamb rack, chops, steaks, leg and the deliciously tender liver.
Sheep were one of the first domesticated animals. As early as 3000BC, the Mesopotamians and Egyptians had established the first recognised breeds. It is also entrenched in human culture, figuring in mythological tales such as the Golden Fleece, as well as in both ancient and modern religious rituals.
With wide availability and a long history, lamb meat features in most culinary styles with dishes of Western European, Arabic and South Asian origins being enjoyed around the world.
The Crowning Glory
So, you’re having a dinner party and, as anticipated, some guests don’t eat beef, others abstain from pork and guess what? Oh yes, there’s one with a seafood allergy. Well goose is out of season, how about duck? Ah, did that last time. Chicken? Nice and easy but it just doesn’t have that wow factor.
What you need is something tasty, not too difficult to cook, but a centrepiece that will impress and add to the experience. Crown Roast Rack of Lamb with rosemary and oregano, served simply with jus and roast vegetables, might just be the dish for you.
A regal dish? Yes, that’s probably the best word to describe a well-presented crown roast and, like its namesake gracing the heads of kings and queens, the crown roast is all about style and presentation.
A crown roast is two lamb racks tied together end-to-end to form a circle, which due to the bones forms a crown. There are 14 chops per crown and two chops per adult is the suggested serving.
- Tie crowns and place on a baking sheet.
- Mix chopped rosemary, minced garlic, chopped oregano, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Brush lamb with olive oil and rub in herb mixture.
- Cover bones loosely with baking foil and place in a pre-heated oven at 230C.
- Roast for 20-35 minutes until cooked to your preference. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat. 54C is for rare meat and 60C for medium.
- Transfer lamb to a platter and stand for about five minutes.
- Remove foil and string and cut lamb between ribs into chops. Serve with jus and roast vegetables.