The slow cooked reduction is indulgent and packed with flavour. Give it a try, you will not be disappointed.
Make sure you buy good quality meat, ideally from your local butcher and although the reduction is time consuming, it can be left to simmer away and be prepared ahead of time with minimal effort.
Serve with your choice of vegetables and I quite like some small roasted potatoes as well.
For the reduction;
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 (7 bone) racks of lamb (ask your butcher to French trim and prepare for you keeping all the trimmings in a separate bag)
1 heaped teaspoon of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper (about ½ a teaspoon)
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery diced
A handful of the celery tops roughly chopped
250ml of good quality port
250ml of good quality red wine (remember, if it’s not good enough to drink, don’t cook with it!)
1pint/500mls of good quality chicken stock (please don’t use stock cubes. Either buy fresh stock or use the liquid in the bag option)
5 sprigs of fresh mint
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon of mint sauce (the jar variety is fine as you need the vinegar content!)
15g of butter, cubed
For the Lamb;
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
2 cloves of grated garlic
The day before you want to cook this dish, make a paste with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of grated garlic and a good grinding of black pepper and rub it all over the trimmed lamb racks. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To make the reduction, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat, and add trimmings from the lamb. Season with the salt and pepper and brown the lamb trimmings and fat. Reduce heat, and add 4 cloves of grated garlic, onion, carrots, celery, celery leaves, port, red wine, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker, and simmer on the low setting overnight (8 hours). This can be refrigerated in a container until ready for finishing.
On the day of cooking, strain the slow cooker mixture into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Mix in the fresh mint, rosemary, and mint sauce, and simmer, adding a little more port, wine, or broth as needed, until mixture leaves a syrup-like coating on the back of a spoon. Strain once more, return to the pan and stir in the knobs of butter. Keep warm while lamb roasts.
To roast the lamb; Preheat the oven to 220c (200c fan) and place a cast iron or oven-proof grill or frying on a very high heat, and sear the marinated lamb racks for 3 minutes on each side.
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 10 minutes for medium rare. Rest the lamb under tin foil for 5 minutes while you bring the reduction back up to hot.
Slice the racks as required into portions and pour a small amount of the reduction on serving plate and arrange the lamb. Drizzle with more reduction as required. Serve with vegetables of your choice.