Rack of lamb with roast tomato and cannellini bean mint stew

Rack of lamb with roast tomato and cannellini bean mint stew

This Saturday was a much needed spring cleaning day at the house (a little late I know) and as such, I had great aspirations to make a spring inspired meal. Grilled rack of lamb with a cherry tomato and mint salad; clean, simple, and bright flavors. The weather, however, didn’t want to play along with our yearning for an outdoor and sunny spring meal… Instead we had gloom, clouds, and a harsh chill hanging around all day. Seriously, I even had to turn the heater on late this morning. With all that in mind, when I headed to the market I decided it would be best to warm things up a bit. Slow roast the tomatoes and mix in some cannellini beans; sear, then roast off my lamb; and add some warmth and richness with a red wine and beef stock reduction. So, I guess, instead of an homage to spring, it turned out to be more of an adieu to winter. We hope.

lamb with roast garlic and red wine marinade
1 rack of lamb (frenched)
1 head roasted garlic
1 cup red wine
1 sprig rosemary +1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
salt & pepper
olive oil

red wine reduction sauce
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons butter
1 sprig rosemary
1 medium shallot, chopped

roast tomato and cannellini bean mint stew
6 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup beef stock
1 tablespoon chiffonade mint
1 tablespoon chiffonade basil
salt & pepper
olive oil

lamb with roast garlic and red wine marinade
For the marinade, in a small saucepan place the red wine (1 cup) and the sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil and reduce to about ¼ of a cup. It shouldn’t take too long; I only needed to boil my mine for about 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, this isn’t a whole ton of liquid and things might disappear if you don’t pay attention. You should have somewhat of a syrupy consistency at this point, discard the rosemary. Squeeze the entire head of garlic into a shallow bowl and add the red wine reduction, tomato paste, and the chopped herbs. Stir everything together with a fork, making sure to mash up all of the roasted garlic as you do. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of your lamb, then rub in the mixture (it should be somewhat of a paste-like consistency) all over and into the lamb. Really give it a good rub down, I’m sure this poor guy went through hell and back to make it your table, show it some love here. Marinate for 1-12 hours (depending on the type of time you have) and make sure you let it come back to room temperature before cooking.

When your ready to cook the lamb, preheat your oven to 450°. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. When the pan is hot, sear your lamb until a nice crust forms, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and finish in the oven. Mine took 15 minutes to reach medium, make sure to cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

red wine reduction sauce
While your lamb is in the oven add the shallots, red wine, beef stock, and rosemary sprig to the same cast iron skillet you seared the lamb in. Bring to a boil and reduce by half, about 10-15 minutes. Strain out the rosemary and shallot and place back into the pan. Bring up to medium heat and add the butter, it should be rich, silky, and sumptuous.

roast tomato and cannellini bean mint stew
For the stew we will start with tomatoes. Not going to lie, this is really a labor of love here. But it’s worth it, I promise. That being said, preheat your oven to 300° and lay out your tomato halves on a baking sheet. Scatter the rosemary, thyme, and garlic over the top, then sprinkle the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

DSC_0028

Throw in the oven and let cook for 2 hours.

DSC_0036

Once they cool (or once you can handle them) cut each halve into fours and pour into a medium saucepan (make sure you get every drop of the tomato yumminess into the pan). Add the beans and beef stock and let simmer over a low heat until the beans absorb most of the liquid, about 20 minutes. To finish, stir in the mint, basil, and a little salt, pepper, and olive oil. I also like to finish with a small drizzle of olive oil once it’s on the plate as well.

DSC_0039

I’m sure it’s sufficed to say this is not a weeknight meal. It takes time, it takes love, it takes a weekend worth celebrating. If I know one thing, it’s that with food like this, we may not miss the spring at all (maybe). Enjoy.

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. themeansauce · · Reply

    Mean and outstanding!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: