About this recipe:I love the process of preparing my crown roast lamb just the way I like it. From trimming and cleaning the tops of the ribs, to making sure the shape of the crown is just perfect, I love having the control. This crown roast lamb comes with a perfectly paired red wine sauce.
For the crown
4 large sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
10 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 6 tablespoons salted butter
salt and pepper, to taste
2 (400g) racks lamb ribs (8 cutlets on each)
For the red wine sauce
2 large shallots, finely sliced
150ml red wine
150ml lamb stock
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
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Preheat the oven 200 C / Gas 6. Grease a roasting tin.
In a bowl, strip the leaves off the rosemary and thyme and discard the stalks. Mix the rosemary leaves, thyme, garlic and butter together and set aside.
To prepare the crown, lay the two racks, fatty side up and if necessary, cut back any excess fat from the bone. Try to ensure that the bones are as "clean" from fat and flesh as possible to avoid burning. You can do this by running the flat blade of a sharp knife over the bones.
Turn the rack over to what will be the inside of the crown and use a sharp knife to make indents in the meat at the cutlet end (don't cut all the way through, just enough to allow for the bend) and at a slight angle, this will help the racks to be tied in a circle to form the crown and will result in the bones being slightly slanted, which is very elegant.
Flip the racks back over to the fatty side and score with a knife. Rub the fat with the herb butter and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place into a glass dish and allow to marinate in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours (optional).
To form the crown, use the sides of a dish to help you. Stand the two racks up, bone side up and fatty side facing inwards and form into a circle. Tie the two racks together discreetly with kitchen string at the base and centre of the adjoining bones (if you have more time you can even use a needle to "sew" the two together). Tie kitchen string around the outside centre and base to also help hold its shape. Allow the lamb to come up to room temperature prior to cooking as this will result in a more even cook.
Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes for medium rare, cook for a further 8 to 10 minutes for medium to well. For smaller racks allow less time, for larger racks allow more time. Check often to ensure that the lamb is not overcooking and use a meat thermometer to remove some of the guesswork (see tip below).
Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the string from the outside of the crown, but leave the two discreet knots holding the two racks together. Transfer to a serving plate, and carve by slicing through in between the bones and serving as cutlets.
For the sauce:
In a frying pan over a medium heat add a little of the lamb dripping from the roasting pan then add the shallots and cook until soft, add the remainder of the ingredients and stir until heated through and fragrant.
To serve, remove the string from the outside of the crown, but leave the two discreet knots holding the two racks together. Transfer to a serving plate, and carve by slicing through in between the bones and serving as cutlets. Serve the sauce alongside.
It is a little tricky to get this roast spot on, so I would highly recommend using a food thermometer to take away some of the guesswork. For rare, cook until the centre of the thickest part of the meat reaches 50 C and allow a resting time of 20 minutes, for medium rare cook until the meat reaches 60 C then rest for 10 minutes, for medium (with a touch of pink) cook to 65 C and rest for 10 minutes, for well done (no pink) cook to 75 C and juices run clear. Note that it is recommended that lamb crown roast is served medium or medium-rare.