Looking for a fast and furious approach to preparing a special plate of food that will a) be easy to assemble b) taste delicious and c) make you look like a pro in the kitchen? Well, as the saying goes, look no further.
The central ingredient here is British lamb loin, cut, snipped and gleaned into an elegant looking joint otherwise known as 'French trim rack of lamb' and when it comes to presentation, this classic, old school method really is hard to beat.
The other ingredients, it has to be said, were assembled after a joyous announcement on the phone and a quick dash around the shops. It's not often you get to hear the magic words - 'The kids are staying over my Mum's tonight.'
Especially in this day and age.
Luckily, all you really need are some fresh, seasonal vegetables when it comes to accompanying lamb of this magnitude. But the last minute grab of goats cheese to add some sharpness and contrast against the sweet meat was inspired. Along with a bottle of English rose from Chapel Down.
Just cook your lamb to medium and give some of your vegetables a quick grilling and dress. Then carve, drizzle, present and off you go. The perfect combination then for an impromptu, romantic evening in.
After finishing, washing up and supping the last of the wine in front of the telly - and I have to be candid here - we went straight upstairs, jumped into bed and had the best night's sleep ever.
- First heat your oven to 200°C and then prepare your rack of lamb by bringing it to room temperature and seasoning all over with Maldon sea salt and rubbing with Herbes de Provence.
- Place an ovenproof pan on the hob over a high heat, add a splash of oil and then place the lamb skin-side down. Cook for a couple of minutes, so that the fat renders and starts to crisp up a touch and then turn to sear the bottom side and put into the oven. 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare, or 13 to 16 minutes for medium.
- While the lamb is cooking, quickly grill the sliced courgettes in a griddle pan, followed by the red salad onion and put into a bowl.
- Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 2 minutes and refresh in cold water and make up the vinaigrette.
- When the lamb is done, leave to rest for another 10 minutes
- To finish off the salad, add the broad beans, lamb's lettuce, chopped mint and half the dressing and combine.
- To plate up, place a generous helping of the salad into the middle of a plate. Then carve up the lamb and place on top. Two each if serving for four. Or three each if you are snatching a moment.
- To finish, crumble some of the goat's cheese around the meat and on the salad and drizzle the remaining vinaigrette all over the top.