Food with Nadine Smith
You may decide to give this prepare-in-advance, quick-to-cook Lamb recipe a go for your Easter table. The combination of hearty grains, succulent lamb and crispy shallots will satiate the most discerning guest or family member!
- 3 lamb back straps (loin)
- 1 1/4 cup white quinoa
- 1/2 cup freekeh (green cracked wheat)
- 1/3 cup wild rice
- 1 pomegranate, cut open, seeds & juice reserved, membrane and peel discarded
- 1cup mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1cup of flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1tsp dijon mustard
- 1tsp honey
- 2tbsp pomegranate juice
- 1tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
- Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
- 100gm soft goats cheese or goats curd
- 2 shallots, finely sliced into rings
- 1/2 cup corn flour
- 2 cups of grapeseed oil
To start the Grain Salad – In individual bowls, soak the grains in 2 cups of water for 3-4 hours. This allows some absorption and softening of the grain and reduces the overall cooking time.
Drain the wild rice and transfer into a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of fresh water, bring to boil and cook gently for 40 minutes until the rice is tender.
Drain the freekeh and steam for 25 minutes until tender.
Combine the quinoa and 500ml of cold water in a saucepan, bring to the boil for 5 minutes, reduce the heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is al dente. Evenly spread the quinoa across a tray to cool. Once cool, combine with the rice and freekeh, add the herbs, pomegranate and dressing.
To make the dressing, combine the EVOO, mustard, honey, pomegranate juice, vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Give it a good shake to combine and set aside.
To make the crispy shallots, dredge the separated shallot rings through the cornflour, then transfer to a sieve and shake off excess. Heat the oil in a saucepan and when the temperature is 150C, or when the oil bubbles vigorously when the handle of a wooden spoon is inserted, add the shallots and shallow-fry until golden and crisp (be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and season immediately with salt.
Preheat a heavy-based frying pan or chargrill pan over a medium heat until hot. Add 2 tbsp EVOO then the back straps and cook for three minutes on each side, turn and cook briefly on the thinner sides until meat is browned all over. Remove from the pan, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for a few minutes. This will settle the juices back into the meat, giving you deliciously tender juicy lamb.
Serve family style, smother the base of a serving platter with the soft goats cheese. Top with the grain salad, sliced lamb and finely with the crispy shallots. Enjoy immediately.