Roast Rack Of Lamb In Irish Stew Consomme
I never tire of a bowl of steaming hot stew. This is a version I have developed over the years but the main ingredients are still the same as my mum uses and her mother before her.
- 1 kg neck of lamb
- 2 leeks
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 2 celery sticks roughly chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 large fresh thyme sprig
- 1 small handful flat-leaf parsley stalks
- 1 few black peppercorns
- 2 Rack of lamb 7-bones, each about 275-350 g/10-12 oz
- 175 g small carrots
- 275 g baby new potatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- fresh rosemary sprigs to garnish
- Place the lamb bones in a large stockpot. Roughly chop one of the leeks and add with the roughly chopped carrots, half of the onion, the celery, bay leaf, herbs and peppercorns. Cover with at least 1.75 litres/3 pints of cold water. Bring to the boil, season lightly and then simmer gently, uncovered, for about 2 hours until reduced by nearly two-thirds – you’ll need 450 ml/3/4 pint of lovely, sweet stock in total. Skim off any skim or grease that rises to the surface with a large spoon. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a large jug and ideally leave to cool overnight so that you can scrape off any fat that has settled on top.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Season the racks of lamb and place in a small roasting tin. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or a little longer, depending on how pink you like your lamb. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place to rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel and shape the small carrots and baby potatoes into neat barrels. Add to the lamb stock with the remaining onion and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are completely tender but are still holding their shape. Season to taste.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Cut the remaining leek into julienne (long thin strips) and add to the pan, then sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened but not coloured. Season to taste.
- To serve, carve the rested racks of lamb into chops. Place the leek julienne in the centre of each warmed wide rimmed serving bowl and spoon around the Irish stew consommé. Arrange the lamb chops on top of the leeks and garnish with the rosemary sprigs.