Roasted Lamb Rack with Nicoise Gratin

Cook time 1.5 hours
Servings 4


2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
2 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 tsp brined capers, rinsed and patted dry
2 large onions, finely sliced
2 red capsicums, finely sliced
2 x 6-rib lamb racks, French trimmed
125mL white wine
250mL lamb or chicken stock
5 desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into 5mm thick rounds
20 ligurian olives or 8 kalamata olives
15g butter

80mL olive oil
1 tbsp chopped marjoram or oregano leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped zest of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Lamb Rack with Nicoise Gratin


To make the marinade, combine the oil with the marjoram or oregano, the garlic, lemon zest and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Reserving 2 tbsp of the marinade for later, drizzle the rest over the lamb racks and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat a large saucepan over medium–high heat and add the oil, anchovies and capers. Cook for one minute, then add the onion, capsicum and a pinch of salt and stir to coat the vegetables in the oil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring from time to time, for 30 minutes until the onion and capsicum are very soft but not coloured too much.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease a 2L baking dish with a little extra oil.

Pour the wine into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the stock and boil for 2–3 minutes.

Place a layer of potato in the bottom of the prepared dish and season with a little salt. Add a thin layer of the onion and capsicum mixture and then spoon on three tablespoons of the stock mixture. Repeat this layering process using all the potato, the onion and capsicum mixture and the stock mixture, finishing with a border of potato, then press down lightly. Scatter the olives evenly over the top and dot on the butter. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 25–30 minutes until the top is golden.

Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over high heat. Sear the lamb racks on all sides, about 5–6 minutes, ensuring they are well browned. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 12–15 minutes for medium–rare, or a little longer until cooked to your liking. Remove the lamb and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Carve into cutlets, then serve three cutlets per person with a big scoop of niçoise gratin and a small drizzle of the reserved marinade.