Macadamia-crusted lamb rack with sweet potato and greens
I’m flat out thinking of any meal more Aussie than lamb – except maybe meat pies, lamington and pavlova, but those are debatable. Am I right my Kiwi friends? Heck, I’ve just realised that this post is about lamb (i.e. sheep!) – eek! I will stop digging this hole right now… And then, I can’t help but think of the crack-up Aussie comedy Kath & Kim every time I cook a lamb rack – or “rack off lamb” as Kim calls it. Like the flashy gals from Fountain Gate, my macadamia-crusted Aussie lamb rack and baked sweet potato with steamed beans and broccoli may like to appear a little bit fancy, but it’s super simple (to make, that is). Not to mention it combines two of Australia’s best-known exports – lamb and macadamias, each of which are packed with nutritional benefits.
Lamb is a great source of Omega-3, Vitamins A and E, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) – a good fat that can help prevent cancer. Vitamins A and E are great for skin and eyes, and Omega-3 can help reduce the risk of heart disease, arthritis, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and asthma. These properties are even more plentiful in grass-fed lamb compared to grain-fed lamb.
The humble macadamia also packs a nutritional punch. It’s among the fattiest of nuts, but – and this may shock some – that’s not such a bad thing! The monounsaturated fat in macadamias is beneficial for cardiovascular health and macadamias are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins, calcium (which is perfect if you can’t tolerate dairy), iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc.
But enough about all that – let’s get to the good stuff!
1 lamb rack
2 ½ tablespoons of macadamia oil
¾ cup macadamia nuts, crushed
1 clove garlic crushed
½ teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 large sweet potato, peeled
½ head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
2 handfuls of green beans
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Chop the sweet potato into 2 inch chunks and place on a baking tray drizzled with 1 tablespoon of macadamia oil. Place in the oven and leave to bake (they’ll take about 20 minutes at this heat and end up quite crisp, but you’ll eventually turn down the heat down when the lamb goes in the oven, so just continue with the following steps and the timing will work out for you).
- In a small bowl, combine macadamias, garlic, pepper and thyme. Transfer to a plate.
- In a medium bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, ½ tablespoon of macadamia oil and egg.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of macadamia oil in a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Place the lamb, presentation side down, in the frypan and cook until browned. Turn the lamb on its side and seal (you will have to hold the lamb in place so it doesn’t fall) and do the same with the other side. Transfer the lamb to a plate.
- Coat the lamb in the Dijon mixture and press in the nut mixture to form a crust. Place the lamb on an oiled baking tray and place in oven with potato. Turn heat down to 150 degrees and cook for 30 – 45 minutes.
- About 15 minutes before the lamb is due to come out of the oven, steam the beans and broccoli over a saucepan of boiling water until cooked to your liking (I prefer mine on the crunchy side, so will cook my beans and broccoli for about 3 – 4 minutes). Remove from the steamer and set aside.
- Remove the lamb and sweet potatoes from the oven. Plate up the vegetables but allow the lamb to sit for about 5 minutes before carving and plating up.
Serves 2 – 3.