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    Rack of Lamb with Fennel Risotto

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    Rack of Lamb with Fennel Risotto

    This is a good way of using new season's lamb. The risotto works well here as it really gives you all the flavours of spring. It really is worth making the stock to flavour the risotto as it gives it a subtle flavour lacking in bought stock

    • Preparation time: 45 minutes
    • Cooking time: 15 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 60 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 8 baby fennel, tops and fronds chopped off and reserved
    • 10g tarragon, chopped
    • 3 star anise
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
    • 175g arborio rice
    • 200ml white wine
    • 2 tbsp crème fraîche
    • 40g Parmesan, grated
    • 25g unsalted butter
    • 2 racks lamb (480g in total; 6 bones in each), trimmed

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. To make the stock for the risotto, simmer the baby fennel in 500ml boiling, salted water for 5–6 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, refresh under cold water, and set aside. Add the fennel tops, half the tarragon and the star anise to the reserved cooking water. Bring to a boil and remove the anise. Whizz in a blender and sieve into a saucepan. Leave on a low heat.
    2. To start the risotto, place a clean saucepan on a medium heat, add the olive oil and fry the shallots for 2–3 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook for a further 1–2 minutes until toasted. Set aside.
    3. For the lamb, heat the olive oil and butter over a medium heat in a frying pan. Brown the racks fat side down for 6–8 minutes, then turn over and seal the other side, seasoning as you go. Place the fennel on a roasting tray, then place the lamb on a rack above. Roast for 10 minutes, until pink in the centre. Then cover with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
    4. While the meat is in the oven, return the risotto to the heat. Add the white wine to the rice and let it evaporate. Then start adding the hot fennel stock little by little, stirring until tender – it should take around 15 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche and Parmesan, season and leave to rest for 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the tarragon. Slice the lamb into cutlets and serve 2 per person with the risotto and the roasted baby fennel. Drizzle any pan juices over.

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