BBQ rack of lamb, baked beans, slaw and balsamic reduction

Anyone that knows me will tell you that I am a huge fan of (if not obsessed with) all things stateside, especially the NFL (American Football to us limey’s). Before each game families and friends show up hours early to cook, barbecue and devour food and down barrels of awesome beer and they usually share it all with strangers. Well, this is my refined interpretation. Once you’ve made your sauce and rub you can keep it for use for all manner of dishes. I served mine with a bloody mary shot made with my own hot sauce (but shop-bought will do if you don’t have the time or inclination).

BBQ Lamb
Serves: 2

Time: 4 hours (3 of this is the beans baking but you can make these the day before)

Ingredients:

BBQ beans:
BBQ sauce (combine all of the below in a medium saucepan, heat over medium heat until well mixed and cook for about 5 minutes):
240ml tomato juice
120ml hot sauce (I made my own, but you can use Frank’s or other shop-bought – hold back some of this if you don’t want it too spicy – you can always add more later)
100ml golden syrup
3 tbsp of Dijon or English mustard
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp onion granules
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp salt

6 slices or 100g smoked pancetta cubes
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion
1 green pepper
1 jalapeño, chopped small
2 tins of haricot beans, drained
1 tin kidney beans, drained
200g soft brown sugar
240ml homemade barbecue sauce (see above for recipe)
60g Dijon mustard
2 tbsp BBQ rub (see below for recipe)

Rack of lamb with balsamic and raspberry sauce:
BBQ rub (combine all of the following a bowl):
120g cooking salt
120g soft brown sugar
60g demerara sugar
2 tbsp pepper
2 tbsp garlic granules
1 tbsp onion granules
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tsp hot chilli powder

8 bone rack of lamb, split into two and then prepared to your liking – English or French – make sure you remove as much sinew as possible otherwise it will tighten up when roasted later. I attended a one-day knife skills course so this is pretty easy but there are loads of videos online if you need help. Or ask your butcher to do a proper job.

1 litre balsamic vinegar (I bought some of the cheapest and it worked fine)
120g raspberry jam/preserve
50g butter
salt and pepper to season.

Fondant potato:
White potato, such as Maris Piper or Rooster
150ml lamb stock
50g butter
Clove of garlic
Fresh thyme

Slaw:
1/4 white cabbage
1/4 carrot
1 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
50g pot of fat and sugar free natural yogurt (I like Yeo Valley)

Bloody mary:
1 tbsp good quality vodka
1 tsp BBQ sauce (see above)
Dash of hot sauce to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice
BBQ rub (dip the glass in lemon juice then the rub for a tasty rim)

Method:

OK, so this isn’t the quickest dish but your commitment will pay off, trust me.

Mix up your rub mix and apply liberally all over your rack of lamb, cover and put in the fridge. You could do this the night before.

For your beans fry the pancetta until golden brown then dry on kitchen roll. Add butter to the same frying pan and sauté the pepper, jalapeño and onion until soft. Remove from the heat. In a stove top safe casserole dish bowl combine the other ingredients and then stir in your onion, peppers and bacon, bring to the boil, cover and then bake in a preheated oven for 2 hours at 170 degrees centigrade. After this time remove the lid, stir and bake for another hour until your sauce is at the required thickness. As I mention above you can cook these in advance and then reheat just before serving.

Next, mix all the slaw ingredients, cover and keep in the fridge til you’re ready to eat.

Turn up the over to 200 degrees centigrade.

In a pan pour your balsamic vinegar in simmer on low for 30-40 minutes until reduced by 2/3. Add the jam and butter, season to taste and mix well. If you over reduce it you can add a little water to loosen it (watch it doesn’t burn though).

Meanwhile cut our a nice cylinder of potato using a pastry cutter. Melt the butter for your fondant potato in a small pan until very hot. Add potato and fry on both sides until golden brown (about 6 minutes on each side). Add the stock, garlic and thyme and cook on a low heat basting frequently until the potato is soft.

Heat griddle pan until smoking hot. Remove lamb from the fridge and sear on all sides until nice browned and griddle marked. Transfer to a roasting dish and roast for about 12 minutes for medium rare, or a little longer if you like it more well cooked. Carve.

On your plate present how you wish, pouring your sauce over your lamb. I added a lemon, honey and mustard dressed watercress salad and a bloody mary shot garnished with a celery leaf. Enjoy.

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