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Middle Eastern Lamb Rack, Heirloom Beets, Yoghurt Flat breads

Brining meat is a great way to impart an extra flavour layer into your dish, providing more thorough even seasoning and ensuring your meat is deliciously moist. In this dish the flavours echo a classic Middle Eastern table and are a perfect pairing with the lamb.

Serves 6-8
This dish needs to be started the day before, the pickles can be made up to 3 days in advance.

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Ingredients

2 Emerald Valley Lamb Racks,
French trimmed and scored
70g sea salt
10g fennel seeds, toasted
3 fresh bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon
1L buttermilk
10 cloves garlic, peeled
and bruised
80ml lemon juice
20ml olive oil

Pickles

600g heirloom beetroot,
peeled, quartered and
steamed until just tender
1 red onion, thinly sliced
7g cumin seeds
5g coriander seeds
5g black peppercorns
60g brown sugar
30g sea salt
250ml apple cider vinegar

Purée

600g beetroot, roasted
and peeled
3 cloves black garlic
60g tahini
100g Greek yoghurt
10ml sesame oil
30ml lemon juice
2g sea salt

Yoghurt flatbreads

Note – This makes 8 large, 12
medium (perfect for a share
table) and 16 small (2 per plate)
600g bread flour
7g yeast
5g salt
10g sugar
60ml olive oil
250g pot set Greek yoghurt

To serve

100g baby beet leaves
40g mint leaves
40g nasturtium leaves
and flowers
250g broadbeans, cooked and
double podded
Peppery extra virgin olive oil,
to drizzle
60g pistachio dukkah
Dehydrated beetroot crisps

Method

In a small saucepan add 250ml water, salt, fennel, bay leaves and cinnamon and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool and infuse. While the brine base is cooling, pour the buttermilk into a bowl large enough to hold the lamb rack, add the garlic and the lemon juice, stir through the cooled brine base. Add the lamb, making sure it is immersed. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours (no less than 8 hours). Before cooking, remove the lamb from the brine, put on a wire rack on a tray and refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours. Before going into the oven the lamb needs to be brought closer to room temperature (the time this will take will depend on the ambient room temperature - allow 30 minutes to 1 hour).

To make the pickles, put the cooled beetroot quarters and sliced onion into a clean lidded container or bowl. Put 250ml water into a saucepan with the cumin, coriander, black peppercorns, brown sugar, sea salt and vinegar. Simmer gently, stirring until the sugar and salt crystals have dissolved. Pour into the container with the beetroot and onions and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Next make the beetroot purée. Put the beetroot, garlic, tahini, yoghurt, sesame oil, lemon juice and salt into a food processor and purée in short bursts, adding a little  water as required - you are looking for a relatively smooth texture. Set aside until needed.

Combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a medium bowl, whisking to evenly distribute the yeast. Add the oil, yoghurt and 200ml lukewarm water, using a rubber spatula to bring the dough together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by folding the dough over on itself with floured hands (as it is a fairly wet dough) 6-8 times, rotating with each fold (this can be done in a mixer fitted with a dough hook for 3-5 minutes).

Wipe out the mixing bowl and rub with a little olive oil. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl covered with a damp tea towel. Set aside in a warm spot for an hour or two until doubled in size. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 8-12, roll into balls (approx. 65g each for small breads, 90g each for medium and 130g for large) and set on a lightly oiled tray, loosely covered, to rest for a further 30 minutes. Cook the flatbreads while the meat is resting, flatten with your hands or roll onto rough discs (about 20cm in diameter). Heat a non stick grill pan or frying pan over a high heat, cook the flatbreads for a couple of minutes each side, until golden.

While the flatbreads are proving, pre-heat the oven to 220°C. Put the lamb into a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 160°C and cook until the meat is to your liking. Remove from the oven and sear in a hot pan with 20ml olive oil for a couple of minutes to create a crust. Cover loosely and rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Cut the lamb into individual cutlets, serve 2 (3 for a larger serve) per person with the beetroot purée, topped with pickled beetroots, leaves, flowers and broad beans. Drizzle with a robust peppery extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with dukkah and finish with the beetroot crisps.