Lamb Rack with Israeli Couscous & Cucumber Mint Raita

by Kyle Cooper
Posted on

Serves: 2
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 30 min
T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon

 

Lamb Rack

1 BRD Frenched Lamb Rack; thawed and patted dry.
1 T high temp cooking oil; avocado, olive oil (not extra virgin), tallow.
Kosher Salt

Cucumber Mint Raita

1/2 cup cucumber; grated with as much liquid squeezed out using a paper towel or dish towel; use the big holes.
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves; minced
1 t lemon zest
2 pinches salt
1/2 t ground cumin
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 cup whole milk yogurt or alternative yogurt of choice

Israeli Couscous

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes; cut into 1/8ths
1/4 cup red onion; small dice; slightly smaller than the tomatoes
1/4 cup Italian parsley; minced
1 T lemon zest
1 T lemon juice; or as much as you can get out of 1 half lemon.
2 garlic cloves; minced
1 t honey
3 T good olive oil

1 cup Israeli Couscous; sometimes called pearl couscous.
1 1/4 cup BRD Chicken Broth
Salt

 

Pairing knife
Chef’s Knife
Cutting Board
Cast Iron Skillet, Grill or other heavy bottomed pan
Meat Thermometer
1 plate or small baking sheet
1 small bowl
1 med bowl
Whisk
Grater
Tongs
Microplane or other zester
3 qt Sauce Pot
Paper Towels
Plastic Wrap, ziplock or air tight container

 

Read the entire recipe before you begin cooking.

Prep Lamb

  • We really want the flavor of the grass fed lamb to come through and be supplemented with the fresh and tangy flavors of the sides in this dish so we will go very simple with the protein.
  • Remove lamb rack from the packaging and pat dry with a paper towel. This can be done in advance and stored in the fridge uncovered for a couple hours (will help it dry further) or covered in plastic wrap over night.
  • Remove from fridge and salt generously on both sides. Let sit on plate or baking sheet for at least 30 mins to allow the rack to come to room temperature throughout and to allow the salt to penetrate.

Prep Raita

  • While the lamb rests, gather all ingredients for the raita and process accordingly. Do not forget to remove as much liquid as you can from the grated cucumber before you mix it in. Combine everything well in a small bowl. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Tip: Go ahead and transfer it into a container that you will store the leftovers in and serve from that. Rinse the mixing bowl and use for the next step.
  • This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 5-7 days. (it's REALLY good on eggs or made into a chicken salad or something)

Prep Couscous

  • Gather all the fresh ingredients for the couscous and process accordingly (everything but the dry couscous and broth). Combine in a small bowl and set aside covered in the fridge while the couscous cooks.
  • Tip: Give yourself a secret weapon by using fermented garlic in honey. It sounds a little intimidating but it couldn’t be easier. Find the best quality garlic and honey that you can. Peel the garlic (slightly crushed is okay) and place in a mason jar then cover with honey. Put the lid on and let is sit on your kitchen in a spot that is out of direct sunlight. Over the course of a couple days, the garlic will soften and release liquid, thinning the honey. Gases will also be released so be sure to crack the lid every day or so to avoid a potential mess. The flavor that develops over time is unlike anything you can get by just adding garlic and honey separately. This will stay good on your counter indefinitely and can be replenished with fresh garlic whenever you have extra cloves laying around. Some people say fermented garlic has medicinal properties as well.

Begin Cooking

  • Preheat your grill on high or your skillet over medium heat. Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Bring the broth to a boil. As it is getting hot, add salt until you like the taste. Unlike pasta water — that should taste like salt water — all the liquid here will be absorbed so you don’t want it to be overwhelming. It should taste pleasant but not salty. Taste it before it boils for safety’s sake.
  • Add couscous and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 10 mins.
  • After the initial 10 mins, remove from the heat and let sit covered for 3-5 mins to give any remaining liquid the chance to absorb.
  • While to couscous cooks, turn the skillet up to medium-high heat and rub the lamb rack with oil. If using a grill, you’re already on high so you're good.
  • Sear the lamb rack, fat side down first, until it turns a golden brown color. Flip and repeat on the lean side. Because of the weird shape, you will have to play with the rack a little bit on this step to make sure you get even coloring. Tongs will be your best friend here.
  • Flip the rack back over so the fat side is up and place in the oven. If using a grill, turn off half your gill and move it to the off side. Monitor the heat of your grill closely to avoid overcooking. Turning the rack fat side up will allow the rendering fat to baste the rack as it cooks.
  • Cook for 5-7 mins then check the internal temp. Remove from oven or grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 135℉. Let rest for at least 5 mins while you finish the couscous.
  • Check couscous by removing the lid and fluffing lightly with a fork. You should have individual  plump pearls that have an al dente bite to them. If you have any remaining liquid, pour it off. If you have a sticky, clumpy mess, it will still taste good but next time don’t let the couscous boil as long before simmering.
  • Remove vegetable mix from the fridge and combine with the cooked couscous and taste for salt, adding more if necessary. If it tastes too salty, you can use more lemon juice to try to calm it down but it won’t work miracles.
  • After the lamb rests, slice into pieces by cutting in between each rib.

Serve

  • Plate the couscous first in a generous pile just off center of the plate.
  • Using a spoon, place a large dollop of raita next to the couscous pile and using the back of the spoon, smear it along the base of the pile.
  • Place the lamb pieces — now called lollipops— on top of the raita smear, leaning on to each other and against the couscous pile.
  • Charge your dinner guest whatever fee you see fit for this professionally executed and plated meal.

 

 

 

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