- Posted February 5, 2013 by
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Lamb Square Cut With Tapenade
A rack of lamb, or carré d'agneau, is already filled with juicy and smoky flavors especially when cooked with all the bones. To make it even tastier and give it a Provencal twist, rub it with Tapenade and serve it with eggplant gratin. Chef Jean Andre Charial shares his method and techniques for cooking a loin of lamb the way he prepares and serves it in his illustrious French restaurant, L'Oustau de Baumaniere.
Tapenade is a traditional Provencal dish that consists of pureed olives, capers, and olive oil. Anchovies are also added to give it a salty and savory flavor. This paste is usually served as hors d’œuvre and spread on crackers, bread, or crudités. Chef Charial uses tapenade that is sold in the shop of his gourmet restaurant. You can easily make your own tapenade and store it in a jar for later use. It makes a great condiment, stuffing, marinade, topping, or sauce for pasta dishes. In other French regions, roasted garlic, herbs, lemon juice, mushrooms, artichokes, or sun dried tomatoes are added to give the tapenade more zest. In this recipe, the most basic ingredients are used so as not to overwhelm the already flavorful and tender lamb meat.
Chef Charial cooks the lamb in three ways, first by searing on a hot pan, then baking in an oven, and finally broiling it to give it a golden brown finish. Inside, the meat is still pinkish and oozes with sweet juice. He serves the dish with eggplant gratin made with tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, and basil. Eggplant gratin is similar to lasagna but uses eggplant instead of pasta. The ingredients are sautéed and sprinkled with mozzarella and parmesan cheese, covered with bread crumbs, and baked in the oven. Like tapenade, this can also be cooked in advance, stored in the fridge and enjoyed as appetizer or side dish. Get your diet soup recipe here.
1 carre d’agneau (8 ribs, about 1.3 lbs. each)
½ lb. black olives
3 anchovy fillets ½ cup olive oil
1/3 oz. capers
aromatic garnishing for the lamb gravy
To make the tapenade, finely chop the black olives and capers and place in a bowl. Add olive oil little by little and mix. Puree in a food processor until you get a thick paste.
To make the eggplant gratin, sauté the onions, garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, and basil in olive oil. Place in a baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs or cheese. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
Wrap the bones of the rack of lamb with an aluminum foil so that they do not blacken when cooked. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Put the lamb in a very hot and heavy saucepan, preferably cast iron to sear. Place in the hot oven for a quarter of an hour. Check the lamb. Remove it from the flame and let it rest to make it more flavorful.
Baste the lamb with tapenade, sprinkle ground bread crumbs on top. Broil the lamb for two minutes, after which, the dish should have a golden look.
Make a sauce of the lamb juice with some red wine and broth made with the lamb bone.
Slice the rack of lamb and lay three pieces of lamb loin on a plate. Place eggplant gratin on the side and pour sauce. Serve warm.