Easter Guard of Lamb

Spring lamb is in season at Easter and two racks of best end interlaced together make a splendid centre piece for Easter lunch. Ask your butcher to French trim the racks of lamb (the fat and meat trimmed away from the tops of the bones.) Recipe from AGA Specialist Dawn Roads. 

Rack of lamb with a herb crust

2 x racks of spring lamb, 8 bones (cutlets) each 

1 tbsp rape seed oil

1 tbsp English mustard

Herb crust:

25g fresh white breadcrumbs from a stale loaf

2 cloves of garlic

20g fresh parsley

10g fresh rosemary leaves

10g fresh mint leaves

Zest of a small lemon

1 egg yolk

Vegetable base:

3 onions, peeled and sliced

2-3 garlic bulbs, cut in half

Sprigs of rosemary

Lemon slices (use zested lemon from crust)

1 tbsp rape seed oil

Salt and black pepper


2 tbsp plain flour

600ml vegetable stock

1 tbsp redcurrant jelly

1. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the racks of lamb on all sides, lift onto a chopping board, cool slightly and lace the bones together to form the guard of honour.

3. Place the onions, garlic, rosemary and lemon slices into the Portmeirion for AGA Roaster with Pouring Lip, drizzle with the oil, season and toss together.

4. Slide the roaster onto the floor of the roasting oven for 10-15 minutes until the onions begin to caramelise (AGA 60, AGA eR3 Series, AGA Total Control and AGA eR7 Series owners use the floor grid).

5. Put the breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs and lemon zest into a food processor and whizz until finely chopped, tip into a basin and mix in the egg yolk until loosely combined.

6. Remove the roaster from the oven, stir the vegetable base then put the interlaced lamb racks on the top. Brush the skin of the lamb with the mustard and press on the crumb crust.  

7. Return to the roasting oven, sliding the roaster onto the third set of runners and roast for about 20-25 minutes. The timings will vary depending upon the size of the lamb racks and how you like your lamb cooked. As a guide, an internal temperature of 55-60ºC should be for medium rare.

8. Remove the guard of honour to a warmed plate and loosely cover with foil to rest for 10-15 minutes in a warm place, near the AGA or in the warming oven.  

9. Meanwhile, place the roaster on the simmering plate and stir the flour into the onions, garlic and lemon, cook for a couple of minutes. Gradually stir in the stock to make the gravy, add the red currant jelly and bubble for about 3 minutes. Strain into a sauce boat.

10. Serve the lamb with steamed new potatoes, carrots and green vegetables accompanied by gravy and mint sauce.

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