Cook this lamb with the parsley crust topping earlier in the day and keep chilled, or make the crust, ready to spread on the lamb while the oven heats up.
- 4 racks of lamb (each rack of lamb weighing about 400g/14oz with 7 cutlets)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A little oil, for brushing
- 4 small onions, unpeeled, each cut into quarters
- 500g (1lb) Chantenay carrots, par-boiled for 5 mins
- For the crust
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 7.5cm (3in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 6tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 100g (3½oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 3tbsp olive oil
- For the fresh mint sauce
- 30g (1oz) fresh mint leaves
- 1 level tbsp caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 small red onion or shallot, peeled and very finely chopped
- 4tbsp red wine vinegar
- For the buttered new potatoes
- 1kg (2lb) baby new potatoes
- A little butter
- For the broccoli spears and green beans
- 500g (1lb) broccoli spears
- 250g (8oz) trimmed green beans
- 3tbsp melted butter
- 2tbsp toasted pine nuts
Set the oven to fairly hot, gas mark 6 or 200°C. Pat the lamb dry with kitchen paper. Score the fatty side in a criss-cross fashion. Season the meat lightly. Mix all the ingredients for the crust in a bowl. Press the mixture on the fatty side of the lamb racks.
Stand racks of lamb with bones interlocked in a large roasting tin. Brush a little oil on cut sides of onion wedges and toss the carrots in a little oil. Add to tin and roast for 45-50 mins, depending on how well cooked you like your lamb. Turn the carrots and onions halfway through cooking.
While the lamb is cooking, put the potatoes in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 mins until tender. Drain well, then toss with some butter. If you prefer your potatoes roasted, just place the boiled potatoes in the oven, under the lamb, and cook for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.
In the meantime, make the mint sauce. Chop the mint leaves with the sugar and salt. Put in a bowl. Stir in the onion, or shallot, and vinegar. Serve within 2 hrs.
Just before the meat is ready, place the broccoli spears and green beans in a large pan of boiling water. Cook for 8-10 mins until just tender. Drain well. Spoon the melted butter and pine nuts over the vegetables and serve straight away.
Once the lamb is cooked, transfer the racks to a carving board or platter, cover and leave to rest for 10 mins. Cut the lamb between the bones, allowing 3 cutlets per person.
If you have an extra-lean rack of lamb, each rack may only weigh 250g (8oz), so cook for just 35-45 mins.