Hannah from MasterChef is back with a lamb dish to conquer her demons
- Credit: GEORGE DAVIES
She vowed never to cook lamb again, but here is MasterChef quarter-finalist Hannah Gregory with a lamb recipe for us.
The Bury St Edmunds cook, who is a creative producer for music festivals, finished in the final 16 in the most recent BBC series.
MORE: ‘I am so unbelievably proud of what I accomplished’ - Hannah exits MasterChefLamb was the dish that saw her go home with her tail between her legs, but here she overcomes her demons with a recipe of herbed rack of lamb.
Hannah, who hosts WanderSups supper clubs when not in lockdown, said: “However, we must learn from our mistakes and then feel all smug inside when we rectify them.
“This dish is another ‘looks way more fancy than it is’ so is great for impressing your other half or, if we allow ourselves to dream, a perfect casual dinner party offering - you can easily scale up the ingredients to allow for a larger crowd.
“It is honestly so easy, despite there being a few elements on the plate - you can whip this up in 30 minutes.”
With the salsa verde, courgettes and cous cous, she said it was also perfect to make ahead.
“As the nights are getting longer and the days warmer, this is a perfect meal to welcome in the summer sun - light and flavourful with nods to the Med, perfect with a chilled glass of wine - obvs.”
MORE: ‘Nothing short of genius’: Suffolk MasterChef contestant Hannah makes quarter finalsHerbed rack of lamb, Mediterranean cous cous, pickled courgette & a mint salsa verde – in Hannah’s words
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Tipple of Choice - At this stage of lockdown - anything...
What you need:
1 French trimmed rack of lamb
100ml olive oil
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh oregano
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 large bunch fresh mint - this is going to split across a few elements, ½ for the salsa verde, ¼ in the lamb marinade & ¼ in the cous cous
Salt and pepper
150g cous cous
Half a pomegranate (no judgement here if you buy the pre-prepped seeds - way easier)
Extra virgin (EV) olive oil
Handful of Kalamata olives
3 preserved lemons
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 salted anchovies
15g of capers
1 tsp Dijon mustard
How you do it:
•First up we need to get that lamb marinating. As always with marinating meat, it’s best to do this overnight. If that’s not possible, a minimum of four hours. Combine half the olive oil with the minced garlic, thyme, oregano, rosemary and quarter of the mint - all the herbs need to be chopped as finely as possible. Season the marinade and then fully coat the lamb with it. Pour over any remaining marinade, cover and refrigerate. Make sure you take your lamb out of the fridge an hour before cooking so it can come up to room temp.
•Preheat the oven to 190.
•Cous cous - chuck it in a suitable bowl, cover in just boiling water, season generously with salt and place a plate over it and walk away and leave her to steam. You need to do this for at least 10 minutes, but you can’t really ‘over-do’ it - I have been known to walk away and totally forget about it till the next day. Still fine. So while that is doing it’s thing, crack on with the rest of the dish.
•To make your pickled courgettes, you need to create beautiful courgette ribbons. I do this with a speed peeler which is by far the easiest way but slicing length ways as thinly as possible will also do the trick. Pop them in a bowl with the white wine vinegar and 2tbsp of EV olive oil and leave to do its thing.
•Salsa verde - take your salsa verde portion of mint (half of the big bunch) and strip the leaves into a food processor or NutriBullet. Add in the anchovies, mustard and capers along with a good tbsp of EV olive oil and seasoning and blitz. Check the consistency and muddle through more oil if needed.
•On a chopping board, finely chop your remaining mint leaves, olives and the preserved lemons making sure to remove any pips.
•Fluff up your cous cous with a fork and then give it a good grinding of black pepper and a good glug of EV olive oil. Tip in your chopped lemons, mint and olives. Add in a handful of pomegranate seeds and crumble in your feta. Make sure everything is combined.
•Lamb time - place a pan over a high heat and get super hot. Once up to temp place your rack of lamb in fat side down. Cook until golden brown and that fat has rendered out (this is important - this is the kind of thing that loses you a cooking competition). Sear the remaining sides of the meat and then transfer to a baking tray and put in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer you are looking for around 52 degrees internal temp for pink lamb. If you like it slightly more well done then just increase the cooking time by a few minutes.
•After the time is up, remove from the oven and leave the lamb to rest for at least 10 minutes.
•To plate - I love to serve this dish on one big platter that everyone can get stuck into and help themselves. I mound the cous cous up and then carve the lamb rack and nestle the cutlets around it. Drain your courgette and pop that somewhere on the platter that looks Insta worthy and drizzle over your salsa verde. For extra oomph, garnish with a load of lemon wedges which can be squeezed over the dish, but, let’s face it, they’re really just there to make it look pretty.
•To find out more about WanderSups supper clubs, where the food is inspired by journeys around the world, and what Hannah is currently cooking look for @WanderSups on Instagram. We will be sharing one more of Hannah’s recipes next week.