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New Zealand Pure South Lamb Rack

Thank you to Pure South for sponsoring 2 lamb racks, and not forgetting Ms Cassandra, admin of Singapore Home Cooks, for choosing Snowcology to create a recipe using the lamb racks!

Lamb meat is well-known for its gamey smell and taste. Whilst some totally enjoy it, some stay away from it. For myself, I would prefer it to retain just a part of its gamey taste as it were to be totally removed, it defeats the purpose of eating lamb!

Most online recipes for lamb racks are either herb crusted, roasted, spiced marinated and so on, which I have attempted many times before. But somehow, the marinades do not penetrate deep into the meats, and the resulting meat is usually bland on the interior though the crust might have all the flavors.

I did some research on came across the use of buttermilk to reduce the gamey taste, and at the same time, using the enzyme to tenderize the meat. It then occurred to me to try out a buttermilk brine solution! Using a high salt concentration and 12 hrs brining time, the resulting meat texture is tender (of course, it has to be cooked correctly), carrying a taste of spices evenly throughout the meat.

And like every other dishes, the sides, condiments played an important role to complete the dish! These are optional, but if you have the time, give it a go!

So, here's the recipe for

Spiced Lamb Rack, Butternut Puree, Smoked Potato cream, Black Olive powder, Truffle Cheese Stick, Potato Wafer, Coffee Balsamic Reduction

Note that you will require temperature controlled cooking, and the use of vacuum packing.

For the lamb rack, prepare brine solution:

1 L brine for every 1 kg lamb rack, adjust accordingly.

For 1 L brine

50g coriander seeds

25g white pepper seeds

10 juniper berries

5 5 star anise

5 cloves

3 bay leaves

3 sprigs rosemary

3 sprigs thyme

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 orange, peeled zest

200g salt

200g brown sugar

500ml water

500ml buttermilk

1. Combine coriander seeds, white pepper seeds, juniper berries, star anise, cloves and bay leaves and toast until fragrant.

2. Blend into a fine powder.

3. Combine powder, and remaining ingredients into a muslin bag.

4. Dissolve salt and sugar in the water and bring to a boil.

5. Add muslin bag and boil for 5 minutes.

6. Leave to cool completely.

7. Add buttermilk and chill brine mixture in the fridge overnight. Leave the muslin bag in the solution.

Preparing the Lamb Rack

1 kg lamb rack, frenched

Coarse black pepper

3 rosemary sprigs

50g butter

1. Brine lamb rack in solution in the fridge for 12 hrs.

2. Rinse the lamb rack and leave in chilled water for an hour, changing the water every 15 minutes. This will allow excess salt to be excreted from the meat, and bring out the flavor of the spices.

3. Pat dry and vacuum pack the lamb rack.

4. Sousvide the lamb rack at 56 degrees Celsius (medium rare) for 2hrs.

5. Remove from vacuum bag, pat dry and add crushed black pepper to the skin.

6. On a hot pan, add butter and rosemary.

7. Sear lamb rack skin side down until brown and caramelized.

8. Sear the base of the lamb rack, basting the skin with the melted butter and rosemary.

9. Set aside to rest before carving.

Butternut Puree

500g butternut

100g butter

200ml milk

Salt to taste

1. Poach butternut in butter and milk until tender.

2. Season with salt.

3. Drain and puree in a blender. Add the liquid mixture one tablespoon at a time to keep the blender going. You should not need more than 2 tablespoons.

4. Keep warm.

Smoked Potato Cream

500g washed potatoes, peeled

250g butter

200g milk

Cooking cream, as required

Salt to taste

Handful of wood chips

1. Peel potatoes and cut into 1cm thick slices.

2. Wash thoroughly to remove as much starch as possible.

3. Poach potatoes in butter and milk until tender.

4. Drain and retain liquid.

5. Evenly spread out potatoes on a metal sieve or colander.

6. Line a pot with aluminum foil, and add wood chips.

7. Light chips with a torch burner.

8. Place colander in pot, and cover with a lid.

9. Smoke for 15 minutes. The butter fat oil the potatoes will ensure that the smoke flavor gets trapped into the potatoes.

10. Blend potatoes with the reserve liquid.

11. Add cooking cream slowly until the desired consistency is achieved.

12. Keep warm.

Black Olive Powder

100g pickled black olives

1. Dehydrate olives at 65 degree Celsius for 24hrs.

2. Blend olives into a powder.

3. Store in air tight container.

Truffle Cheese Stick

You can use any cheese that you like, Parmesan, Brie, etc.

Whole cheese, sliced into 5 x 1 x 1 cm sticks

Plain flour, as required

Bread Cumbs, as required

2 eggs

Oil for frying

1. Coat cheese sticks with flour.

2. Dip into egg mixture, followed by bread crumbs. Do this twice.

3. Place on a wire rack and this can be stored in the freezer until needed.

4. Heat oil, and fry cheese sticks until golden brown.

5. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Potato Wafer

Russet potatoes, as required

Oil for frying

1. Wash and peel potatoes, reserving potatoes in water to prevent browning.

2. Using a mandolin shaver and wafer attachment, shave the potatoes, turning 90 degrees each time to achieve a criss-cross cut.

3. Cook potato wafers in boiling water for a few minutes until tender.

4. Dehydrate at 70 degrees Celsius for 18 to 24 hrs until the wafers are dry, and rubbery-like.

5. Puff wafers in hot oil and season with salt.

Coffee Balsamic Reduction

1 bottle 750ml balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoon espresso coffee powder

6-8 tablespoon sugar (adjust accordingly)

1. Bring balsamic vinegar and coffee powder to a boil

2. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and taste accordingly.

3. Reduce the mixture to about one third to half its original amount.

4. The sauce should be thick and coat the back of a spoon.

5. Cool and store in a bottle. This can be kept in the fridge for weeks.

Assemble, plate and serve on a warm plate! =)

If you have any comments on this recipe, please feel free to comment!

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