chapter V

when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs

made in MyKitchen | roasted lamb rack with passion fruit ponzu sauce and asparagus

when i asked the butcher for a full rack of lamb, there was only a bit left and i had to take it as the other lamb butcher’s stall wasn’t open for business yet.. there was a total of five ribs on the rack, so i asked the butcher to split it into half.. the big one for hubs, and the smaller one for myself..

i mentioned in my last lamb ribs recipe post that i normally do a rosemary+peppercorns+sea salt+sugar brine to marinate lamb.. well, that’s what i did for today’s recipe..

okay, now let’s talk again about brining..

so far, it’s my utmost favorite marinate method for red meat and chicken, especially for roasting in the oven.. not only does it yield wonderfully flavorful meat, it also gives extra moisture to it, making it super juicy once it’s cooked.. seriously, it’s THAT good.. hubs always says roast meat marinated this way doesn’t even need any sauce to accompany it.. it’s delicious all on its own, with perhaps some crisp, lightly seared veg and maybe another side of baked/boiled tatters to accompany it..

all you need is plenty of water, some strong herbs, spices if you prefer, salt and sugar.. you can also use stock, and infuse it with herbs or spices.. the only thing to remember is to watch the amount of salt and sugar you add to the brine.. you want it to be salty, but not too salty that it makes you cringe.. just bear in mind that the meat will act like a sponge and soak up the flavors and it will end up tasting like the brine, especially when it’s been marinating overnight or longer..

i like to use strong aromatic herbs like fresh rosemary and thyme, and sometimes for a more citrusy aroma, i use kaffir lime leaves.. for spices, you can use any dried whole spices like peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom, coriander, or fresh ones like ginger, garlic or lemongrass.. for dried whole spices, it’s best to toast them for a bit in the pan until really fragrant before you add in the liquid.. the meat will soak up the aroma from these spices in the brine..

so, in short, if you want flavorful, aromatic and juicy roasts/steaks/chops, brine the meat.. it doesn’t take much effort at all.. just prepare the brining solution, let it cool, submerge the meat in it, and let it soak up all the goodness from the brine in the fridge overnight.. that’s it, and you’ll thank yourself for doing it when you take the first bite of the meat when it’s cooked to perfection..

i also mentioned that lamb roast goes really well with a tart and tangy sauce, like mint sauce and citrus based sauces.. i stumbled upon this recipe for passion fruit ponzu sauce somewhere online and i made it to go with lamb chops.. the sauce is superb, and really complemented the lamb perfectly.. ponzu is a sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine.. this version has fresh passion fruit juice in it and i totally love its flavor in the sauce.. :mrgreen:


Ingredients :

  • whole/halved lamb rack

  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • black peppercorns

  • sea salt
  • brown sugar
  • ripe passion fruits

  • lemon
  • lime

  • balsamic vinegar

  • light soy sauce
  • asparagus, thick fibrous ends snapped off
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • ground black pepper
  • plenty of water

Method :

  • in a pot, combine water with sea salt, black peppercorns, rosemary sprigs and brown sugar. let the salt and sugar dissolve on low heat. taste, add more salt or sugar if needed. set aside to cool

  • place lamb rack/s in a container and pour cooled braising liquid all over to cover completely

  • let the rack/s to marinate in the fridge overnight
  • about 2-3 hours before roasting, bring the rack/s out from the fridge to come to room temperature
  • preheat the oven at 200° Celcius
  • place lamb rack/s in a lightly oiled baking tray. cover the trimmed tips with foil to prevent them from getting burnt

  • bake the rack/s for about 45-50 minutes
  • to cook asparagus,
  • heat up a bit of extra virgin olive oil in a pan
  • add in asparagus and toss them in the pan
  • season with sea salt and ground black pepper
  • the asparagus should be cooked through and still crunchy. turn the heat off when done. set asparagus aside

  • to prepare the passion fruit ponzu sauce,
  • scoop out passion fruit flesh, pips and all into a sieve. strain the juices and remove the pips. set aside

  • measure equal amounts of light soy sauce and balsamic vinegar into a pot
  • on low heat, let the mixture come to a simmer
  • pour in passion fruit, lemon and lime juices and a bit of brown sugar
  • taste as the sauce simmers. add more passion fruit juice or brown sugar if needed
  • turn the heat off when the sauce is done and set aside
  • check the lamb rack/s in the oven. it’s cooked when the juices run clear from the sides
  • turn the heat off, remove the rack/s from the oven

  • let the rack/s rest for about 5 minutes
  • serve, and enjoy

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2 comments on “made in MyKitchen | roasted lamb rack with passion fruit ponzu sauce and asparagus

  1. ronin
    Tuesday ~ August 20, 2013

    Brining is a good practice. Brined a turkey for the first time early this year with really good result.
    Will try this for my wife’s birthday next month. Thanks

    • whytevee
      Wednesday ~ August 21, 2013

      Brining is the best! Hope you’ll both enjoy it as much as we did~ :D

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