Mustard and Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb with Minted Peas

by Jenn on March 30, 2010

in Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Meats


As much as I love my vegetables and fruits, when it comes down to it, I am an all-out omnivore, and some of my favorite ways to prepare meats are by roasting them.  Roasting is not hard, but it requires time.  If you are coming home after a long day of work and want food on the table in 10 minutes or less, roasting probably is not going to be your cooking method of choice.  However, if you have even a little time, roasting meat is incredibly stress free and painless – only minor babysitting required, and you can add pretty much whatever flavors you feel like at the moment.

This past weekend, I celebrated a special occasion, my birthday.  Ok, I’m not sure how special that is, but it was a great excuse to purchase a rack d’agneau.  However, in doing so, I committed an eco-sin.  The lamb was from New Zealand, halfway around the world. I really do feel guilty about the fact that the meat I cooked traveled over 10,000 miles to get to my plate, but I did not feel so guilty as to deter me from buying it.  Why?  One, when I was in New Zealand I tasted some of the best lamb I have ever eaten in my life and two, it was the only lamb available in the store – not that those are good excuses I am sure.  It did cost me a dear sum, but well, it was my birthday.

This was my first time roasting lamb, and it was extremely simple to do – I didn’t want to have to freak out that my own birthday dinner wasn’t going to turn out right.  It pretty much went like this – bring meat up to room temp, pan-sear, rub pistachio coating onto lamb, pop in oven, relax.  Take out of oven, eat.  Relax some more :)  There was so much flavor emanating from this dish that each bite was savoured individually, not wanting to accept the fact that at some point, the meal would be over and the flavors would have to end.  One of my favorite things about food is that it is an always ephemeral work of art.  Just as a mandala is ritualistically destroyed to be created anew, so it is with food – each meal is consumed, the flavors lasting for an instant in time, and then they are gone, only to leave us waiting until the next delectable experience.  Sometimes flavors work to bring comfort, sometimes they work to bring art.  There are other parts of this dish too, they are coming next.  When each flavor comes together as a color in a painting, contrasting and blending, causing the taste buds to find new dimensions of taste sensations, that is when art can happen with food.  Now I’m certainly not going to go around calling myself the next Ferran Adrià or anything, but sometimes there are those rare instances where a dish made in such a humble setting (I think 2 burners and a glorified toaster oven qualify my kitchen as “humble”) can have a transformative quality to it.  And then again, it may just be that my husband and I have a taste for flavorful and yet simply created food and are easily pleased.  Speaking of him, I think he enjoyed my birthday present to myself more than I did :)

Also submitted to – Gluten Free Wednesdays