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Recipe Of The Month: Spring Lamb

Spiced rack of lamb with smoked aubergine dip (Serves 4)
For the marinade:
1½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
¼ tsp caraway seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1½ tsp fresh root ginger, grated
1–2 mild chillies (deseeded weight 30g)
1½ tsp ground coriander
⅛ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tomato paste
1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp granulated sugar
Few pinches of cayenne pepper (optional)

For the lamb:
2 extra-trimmed racks of lamb (approx. 800g total)
1 tsp olive oil
Mixed salad leaves (to serve)

For the aubergine dip:
2 aubergines
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1- For the marinade, toast the cumin, fennel and caraway seeds in a frying pan for a few minutes, then put them in a small food processor. Pulse until they’re crushed, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blitz until the mixture has become a smooth paste. Add cayenne pepper to taste.
2- Place each rack of lamb in a freezer bag along with one-third of the marinade. Close the bags and massage the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate for at least three hours – preferably overnight.
3- Wash the aubergines. Place each one over a high flame on a gas cooker and roast until the skins are burnt. Once blackened, place them in a plastic bag until they are completely cool.
4- Remove the lamb from the fridge, and leave it until it reaches room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and sear the lamb on all sides – about 5 minutes total for each rack. Transfer to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 8–10 minutes. Remove the tray, cover with foil and allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
5- Take the aubergines out of the plastic bag and remove the blackened skins. Lightly squeeze the flesh and squeeze out any excess water. Mash the flesh with a fork, and add the remaining marinade and the lemon juice. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl.
6- Arrange a handful of salad leaves and slices of lamb on a plate. Serve warm with the aubergine dip and lemon wedges.

Lancashire hotpot (Serves 4–6)
900g lamb neck and shoulder, cut into large chunks
40g butter
3 medium onions, peeled and cut into wedges
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
450ml strong lamb stock
5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
Small bunch of parsley, tied with a string
900g floury potatoes, peeled and sliced to 3mm thick

1- Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Massage salt and pepper into the meat and leave for 10 minutes.
2- Place a 26cm cast-iron casserole pan over a medium to high heat and melt two thirds of the butter. Brown the meat in batches, then remove from the pan. Add the onions, carrots and garlic, and fry until they are light brown, about 5 minutes.
3- Add the meat back to the pan and sprinkle it with the flour. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the stock. Add the anchovies, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Mix well with a wooden spoon and bury the tied parsley in the centre.
4- Arrange the sliced potatoes in an overlapping pattern on top of the meat mixture and top with a few pieces of butter. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper, put the lid on and place the casserole in the oven for one and a half hours.
5- Take the dish out of the oven, remove the lid, then place the pan under the grill for 10–15 minutes, until the potatoes have started to brown. Serve (putting the bay leaves aside) with steamed vegetables such as tenderstem broccoli or spring greens.

Lamb cooking tips
Grill: This works well with minced-meat burgers or bone-in chops. For guaranteed tenderness and moisture, it’s best to marinate or salt the meat – ideally overnight, but for at least 40 minutes – before cooking.

Roast: Cook for 20 minutes at 220°C/430°F/Gas 7, before dropping the heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. The general rule is then 15–20 minutes per 450g for rare; increase by increments of 5 minutes for medium rare, medium and well done, respectively. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Casserole: Use a tight-fitting lid, whether on the stove top or in the oven, to stop any piquant liquid evaporating. Stews are best enjoyed the day after cooking, when the flavours have been left to develop overnight.

Find these recipes and more in the March issue of Harrods Magazine, available to download through the Harrods app.

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Food styling and recipes by Seiko Hatfield.

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