Roast rack of lamb with pancetta, summer vegetables and mint bearnaise

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 4 (about 220gm each) 4-rib lamb racks
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, skins pricked
  • 8 slices (about 100gm) pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 150 gm podded peas (275gm unpodded)
  • ¼ cup (loosely packed) mint leaves, coarsely torn
  •  
  • Mint béarnaise
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs of mint, leaves picked, stalks reserved
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 golden shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 225 ml clarified butter, softened (see note)
01   For mint béarnaise, combine vinegar, mint stalks, peppercorns and shallot in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced to 40ml (2 tbsp), then strain into a bowl, discarding solids. Whisk egg yolks and vinegar reduction in a large heat-proof bowl over gently simmering water until pale and thick, then gradually whisk in clarified butter until well combined. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coarsely chop mint leaves and add to béarnaise. Stand in a warm place until required. Makes 1 cup.
02   Preheat oven to 200C. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy-based roasting pan over medium-high heat. Season lamb and cook for 5 minutes, turning until browned all over. Roast in oven, turning once, for 8-10 minutes for medium-rare or until cooked to your liking. Rest for 10 minutes covered loosely with foil.
03   Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, sauté onion for 5 minutes or until soft and golden. Add cherry tomatoes and pancetta, and cook for 5 minutes or until tomatoes just split. Meanwhile, blanch peas in boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes or until just tender, drain, add to tomato mixture, and stir to combine. Season to taste and add mint leaves. To serve, halve lamb racks, arrange pancetta and summer vegetables on plates, top with lamb and mint béarnaise and serve immediately.
Note For clarified butter, melt cold cubed butter, pour into a jug, stand, skim surface then pour off clear butter and reserve, discarding milk fat. 250gm butter will yield 225ml of clarified butter.
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