It’s the lamb season. For the next couple of months, this meat is at its most tender and delicate. So why not cook some succulent lamb? The recipe I propose here is cotolette d’abbacchio con patate. Abbacchio is the Roman term for spring lamb and there are endless ways of cooking it. I suggest a simple roast rack of lamb with garlic, rosemary and white wine. Quintessentially Italian of course, and by keeping it simple the full flavour of the lamb comes out.
If you can find a rack of lamb, ask your butcher to do a French trim — removing the meat and fat from the rib bones leaving 5-6cm clean bones exposed. Otherwise, you can do the same recipe using baby lamb chops or lamb cutlets. These may be a little less tender than the rack of lamb but they are equally tasty. Finally, I suggest roasting some potatoes. My advice is to first roast the potatoes and, just before they are done, to add them to the lamb. This way the gravy from the roasting lamb will blend with the potatoes and give them a fuller taste.
Serves 4-6 as a main course. Preparation time: 90 minutes
● 2 racks of lamb (French trimmed) or 12-16 lamb cutlets/ baby lamb chops
● 6-8 diced potatoes
● 4 cloves of garlic cut in halves
● Bunch of fresh rosemary
● Extra virgin olive oil
● A splash of white wine
● Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
● Preheat the oven to 190˚C.
● Peel the potatoes, dice them and wash them thoroughly.
● Place the potatoes into a shallow roasting tin together with the 2 cloves of garlic, half of the rosemary, salt and pepper, and a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil.
● Mix well and place the potatoes in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes or until they start to turn golden.
● While the potatoes roast, marinate the lamb.
● Place it in a bowl and add the garlic, rosemary, a splash of white wine, salt and pepper and some olive oil.
● Cover with cling film and place it in the fridge.
● TIP: You can marinate the lamb a few hours in advance for extra flavour, stirring it a couple of times while in the fridge.
● Once the potatoes are cooked, add to them the marinated lamb.
● Stir well and place the tin back in the oven for 20-30 minutes depending on how pink you like the lamb.
● Add a splash of wine on the lamb halfway through and stir well. If you like the lamb well done, leave it to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Carve the lamb and serve with the potatoes.
● Alternatively, you can roast the lamb separately from the potatoes in a different shallow roasting tin, allowing the lamb to roast in its gravy and mixing it with the potatoes once they are both cooked.
● Serve hot!