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Rack of lamb on black barley salad

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Last time he cut up our Tanamerah Farm lamb, I asked Dan at the Gingin butcher to prepare some rib racks. They looked great – lightly scored on the outside with the tips neatly frenched. I was tentative in cooking them, as I’m more accustomed to seeing the colour of the chops develop as they cook in a pan or on a BBQ, so I felt like I was flying blind!

It was worth the risk though, because cooking them as a rack and then cutting up just before you serve keeps them deliciously moist and tender. I teamed them with the gorgeous black lime pepper from Black Limes Australia for a uniquely ‘Northern Valleys’ flavour.

I served the final dish on a bed of black barley and vegetable salad which made a low carb meal. Adding a serve of potato mash would make it a more substantial if needed.

Lamb rack ingredients

• 2 x Frenched lamb rib racks with 7 to 8 ribs each.
• 6 x teaspoons black lime pepper
• 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
• Sea salt
• 4 x tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method:
Combine the black lime pepper, garlic and olive oil into a paste and rub into the lamb fat. Sprinkle with salt and allow to marinate, covered, in the fridge for a few hours.

Bring the lamb to room temperature before cooking so the meat cooks evenly. Preheat the oven to 240°C

Wrap bones ends in foil, and place the rack in the pan with the fat side up.

Roast at high heat for 10 minutes to brown, then reduce heat to 140°C to finish – approx. 20 minutes longer.

Black barley & vegetable salad ingredients

• 1 cup black barley,
• 1 red onion,
• 1 zucchini
• 1 red capsicum or paprika
• 200 g cherry tomatoes,
• 200 g baby spinach,
• 1 lemon,
• 100 g feta,
• Small bunch of mint
• Olive oil, salt and pepper

Method:
Rinse one cup of black barley and place in a saucepan. Cover with enough cold water to rise about 4 cms above the grains. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer with the lid on. Simmer gently until the water has been absorbed, and turn off the heat when air holes appear through the cooked grains.

Fluff with a fork and turn out into a large flat bowl. Allow to cool.

Roughly chop the red onion, zucchini and capsicum and sautée lightly in a pan with some olive oil. Toss through the black barley with the tomatoes, lots of lemon juice and a good glug of olive oil. Tear up the mint and add to the baby spinach.

To serve, start with the greens, layer the veg and barley then crumble the feta over the top.

Carve the lamb chops into pairs and arrange on top.