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Crown Rack of Lamb


Crown Rack of Lamb -Vicky Wasik

1 (3- or 4-pound; 1.4- to 1.8kg) crown roast of lamb, prepared by the butcher

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Stuffing (see note):

1 cup (240ml) boiling broth, or water

1/2 cup dried apricots, diced

1/2 cup pitted prunes, diced

1/2 cup shelled pistachios

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (165ml) olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

4 cups warm cooked couscous (from about 2 cups dry), fluffed

3/4 cup minced parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce (see note):

1 cup packed fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup packed parsley leaves and tender stems

1/4 cup shelled pistachios

1 cup (240ml) olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1.

Preheat oven to 200°F (90°C) and position oven rack low enough to fit crown roast in oven. Generously season crown roast all over with salt and pepper. Place roast on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and roast until lamb registers 115°F (46°C) on an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loin, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


2.

Meanwhile, for the Stuffing: In a heatproof bowl, pour boiling stock or water over apricots, prunes, and pistachios and let steep for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and coriander, lower heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until golden and soft, about 8 minutes. Drain dried fruit and pistachios of any excess liquid. In a large bowl, toss together couscous, apricots, prunes, pistachios, cooked onions, parsley, and remaining 1/2 cup (120ml) olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.


3.

For the Sauce: Using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor, pulse mint, parsley, and pistachios until roughly chopped. Add 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil and pulse until herbs and nuts are finely chopped. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup (180ml) olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.


4.

When lamb reaches 115°F (46°C), remove from oven. Increase oven to highest possible temperature (broil setting on some ovens, or about 500°F/260°C on others) and allow to heat fully. Cover lamb rib bones with foil. Roast lamb, checking temperature every 5 minutes and then more frequently as it approaches doneness, until lamb is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of lamb registers 125 to 130°F (52 to 54°C) for medium-rare, or 130 to 135°F (54 to 57°C) for medium, about 10 minutes. Let lamb rest for 15 minutes.


5.

Stuff with warm couscous and serve, passing sauce at the table. To carve lamb, slice lamb between rib bones into chops.



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