Lamb Rack with Basil and Garlic Confit, Wheat Timbale, and Vegetable Ratatouille
Garlic roasted in olive oil forms the flavor base of each part of this dish. Both the rack and saddle of lamb are roasted with the roasted garlic and basil; the sauce is a simple reduction of pan juices. Chef Concaro cleverly uses the bones and stock vegetables as the “roasting rack” to hold the lamb pieces, multiplying the rich stock that results. The timbale includes a layer of semolina and a layer of vegetable ratatouille. The garlic confit has a thousand other uses in the kitchen, from stocks to salad dressings.
- Garlic Confit (recipe follows)
- Zest of 1 orange
- Fresh Ginger - 1 inch
- Lamb and Sauce
- Saddle of Lamb - 1
- Rack of lamb ribs - 1
- Leek - 1, cleaned and separated
- Carrots - 2, cut in half lengthwise
- Celery Rib - 3
- Bouquet Garni - 1 (bay leaf, 1 sprig each thyme, parsley, rosemary, and tarragon, tied together)
- Onions - 2, cut in half
- Whole Cloves - 4
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Basil leaves - 4 large
- Garlic Confit - 8, garlic cloves and oil (recipe below)
- Water - 2-1/2 cups
- Wheat Timbale
- Zucchini - 2, cut in small dice
- Garlic confit olive oil (recipe below)
- Eggplant - 2 small, cut in small dice
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, peeled, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 1, peeled, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Green Onions - 2,minced
- Garlic Confit garlic cloves - 6, (recipe below)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Semolina - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Water - 1 cup
- Cherry Tomatoes - 8
- Garlic Confit olive oil - (recipe below)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Canola oil for deep-frying
- Basil leaves - 4 large
- Unsalted Butter - basil leaf,
- Basil leaf - 1, cut in chiffonade
- Garlic Confit
- Garlic Cloves - 50
- Olive oil to cover
To prepare the zest and ginger: Cut the orange zest and ginger into fine julienne. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the zest and ginger; return to a boil, cook 15 seconds, remove from heat, and drain. Bring more water to a boil, add the zest and ginger, and cook 15 seconds again; drain. Bring more water to a boil, and for the third time cook the zest and ginger for 15 seconds, then drain. Dry thoroughly by twisting in a towel. Chop fine. Set aside.
To prepare the lamb and sauce: Preheat the oven to 400. Remove the bones from the saddle of lamb, reserving the bones, and trim fatty portions from both the saddle and the rack. Place the bones in a roasting pan with the leek, carrots, celery, and bouquet garni. Cut the onions in half stick a clove in each. Place in the pan, cut face down.
Open the saddle out flat. Season with salt and pepper. Lay two basil leaves to one side of the opened-out saddle and top with half of the zest, ginger, and 4 garlic cloves from the garlic confit. Roll up the saddle meat around the filling and tie both crosswise and lengthwise with cotton string. Put in the roasting pan on top of the bones and vegetables.
Trim the ends of the rib bones on the lamb rack. Clean the ends of the bones and press any meat back toward the chop portion. Make a cut along the line where the chop and bones meat, opening a pocket behind the rib bones. Season the pocket with salt and pepper. Lay two basil leaves in the pocket and fill with the remaining zest, ginger, and 4 more garlic cloves from the garlic confit. Close the pocket and tie shut with cotton string between each rib bone. Put in the roasting pan with the saddle, on top of the bones and vegetables. Roast until the juices have caramelized and the bones have started to color, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the saddle and rack into another pan and continue roasting to medium-rare, about another 10 minutes.
Skim any foam and fat from the roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir to bring up the browned bits; use the cut onion to rub the bottom of the pan and bring up the caramelized juices. Remove the bones and discard. Add 2 cups of water and place on top of the stove; simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until slightly reduced. Strain through a sieve into a saucepan and put the juices back on medium-low heat until reduced and slightly syrupy. Keep warm.
To make the timbale: Heat a tablespoon of the garlic confit oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and saute the zucchini until the edges start to brown, tossing to cook all sides. Remove from pan, sieve to remove the oil (reserve oil), and drain on paper towels placed on a dish. Repeat with the eggplant, using the reserved oil. Add another tablespoon of garlic oil to the pan and saute the diced peppers, onion, and shallot. Dice 6 cloves of garlic confit and saute with the pepper mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Put all the vegetables in a bowl and toss together. Keep warm.
Combine the semolina, butter, and a tablespoon of garlic confit oil in a saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Add the boiling water and stir to combine. Cover and set aside off the heat for 5 minutes to steam. Put the steamed semolina in a medium non-stick saute pan or skillet and saute them briefly to dry. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
To prepare the garnishes: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and season with a little of the garlic confit oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
Heat the oil to 370 F in a deep-fat fryer or deep saucepan. Flash-fry the basil leaves for 15 seconds; remove and drain on a towel.
To serve: Place a 3-1/2-inch-by-2-inch steel ring mold to one side on each plate. Fill with one inch of semolina, pressing lightly to pack down. Fill to the top with the vegetable mixture. Press down lightly to pack. Cut the strings from the lamb saddle and rack. Cut the rack into individual chops. Cut the saddle into thin medallions. Divide the chops among the plates and place in the centers of the plates. Divide the medallions among the plates and arrange, overlapping slightly, on the side away from the timbale. Whisk 1 tablespoon of butter and the basil chiffonade into the sauce and spoon two pools of sauce on each plate. Lift the ring molds from the timbales. Garnish each with cherry tomatoes and a fried basil leaf.
Place the peeled garlic cloves in a medium saute pan or skillet and cover with cold olive oil. Put over medium heat and bring to a boil; remove from heat when it starts to boil. Set aside to cool in the oil; store in the oil.