If you have got a load of people piling around for the coming Bank Holiday weekend. And lamb is on the agenda. And everyone is insistent that you break the BBQ out (because it’s the Bank Holiday and everyone wants lamb for Easter).
Do not panic.
For this recipe by Richard H. Turner most definitely ticks all the boxes and after plating this feast up, legendary status will most certainly be lauded upon you.
New season rack of lamb - roasted over coals, slightly smoked, all delicate and succulent - is your traditional mainstay here. Paired with a zingy salad, to help cut through that beautiful fat. But to be fair, the flatbreads do a lot of heavy lifting too and will make sure that guests are left feeling fully sated and oh-so-slightly woozy afterwards.
Saying that, if requests start to come in later in the evening. For another round of warm, buttered pouches, stuffed with lamb, parsley and spiky, salty cheese, do not be surprised.
Might even be best to double up the batch when preparing.
And keep those fires burning.
Ingredients - serves 8
2 x 800g racks of lamb
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Red onion and baby gem salad
6 small red onions, peeled and quartered
4 whole baby gem, halved
Small bunch flat leaf parsley
Small bunch mint leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lamb and Pecorino flatbread
400g strong white bread flour
300ml lukewarm water
1 sachet of baking yeast
300g ground lamb
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
75g Pecorino cheese, diced into 1cm cubes
2 rosemary stalks, leaves stripped and chopped
Small bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped
100g unsalted butter
Sumac, for sprinkling at the end
First, the night before cooking, combine the Dijon, garlic, lemon zest and juice to create a paste and season well. Then rub thinly all over the lamb racks, put on a plate and cover with cling film, and allow to sit in the fridge overnight.
On the day of the cooking, prepare the flatbread dough by combining the flour, water, salt and yeast together in a bowl, then take out and knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes, until the dough is springy and smooth.
Place back into the bowl and leave for an hour to prove and rise in a warm spot, then take it out, to flatten and ‘knock back’ before forming into a ball. Put back into the bowl for a second rise.
Prepare the filling by putting a frying pan on the hob over a medium heat and add the ground lamb, garlic paste and chopped rosemary. Brown all over and cook off for about 5 minutes before taking it off the heat and leaving to cool.
Now, heat your oven to 200°C and take the lamb racks out of the fridge to come to room temperature.
To build the flatbreads, take out the bread dough, flatten into an oval on a floured surface and divide into eight pieces. Take one and roll it into a small bowl and then flatten out again into a rough circle. Spoon some of the ground lamb to one half of the circle and add some of the Pecorino cubes and a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top. Then fold over to make a kind of flat calzone. Repeat until you have 8 flatbreads and place them on a large baking tray.
Put into the oven and bake for 10 minutes - they will be just under - and put to one side.
Set up your BBQ for indirect cooking and get the charcoal lit, getting it up to 220°C. When it is ready, place the racks directly over the coals and sear and colour the lamb all over for about 5 minutes, then place to one side and put the lid on.
Leave to roast for 10 - 12 minutes, or until the lamb reaches an internal temperature of 60–65°C for medium rare, or 65–70°C for medium. Take off and leave to rest.
Now, take the onion quarters and dress lightly in olive oil, then grill them for about 10 minutes until charred all over and softened. Remove from the grill and cling film in a bowl to steam a little.
Repeat with the baby gem halves but you will need to move quicker, turning after 1 minute to char. Lightly peel off most of the burnt outer layer from the red onions to leave the lightly charred and soft inner layers and combine with the baby gem. To finish, dress with olive oil, lemon juice, torn leaves of mint, the parsley leaves, toss the whole salad gently until well combined and evenly dressed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To finish the flatbreads off, place a saucepan over the coals and add the butter. Melt and simmer until the milky residues start to go all nutty and brown, then place the flatbreads onto the grill and brush with the butter on both sides and then charcoal grill until just burnt.
To serve, simply slice up the lamb chops and place on a large platter to one side, a heap of the grilled salad in the middle and the flatbreads on the other side. Finish with a sprinkling of sumac all over and then get everyone to dig in.