Lamb with Orzo & Minted Goat CheeseAugust 4, 2016
This recipe originally appeared in Tablecrafter, the world’s easiest way to learn food photography and styling.
A widely available source of protein, lamb often plays second fiddle to its more popular counterparts: beef, pork, and chicken. People dislike its distinctly strong gamey flavor—the culprit holding lamb back from the spotlight. As it turns out, lamb contains more unsaturated fat than beef does. During the cooking process, the fat oxidizes and gives lamb the flavor that turns people away from an otherwise great ingredient.
In this recipe, we find lamb and mint together. A classic pairing, these two play so well together due to the lamb’s bold flavor and the mint’s freshness complementing each other. In the background, we have orzo and roasted peppers with dollops of minted tangy goat cheese rounding out the dish. If you can’t find orzo, you can use either couscous, quinoa, millet, or wild rice. This well-balanced and aesthetically-pleasing dish this will impress even the most lamb-averse friends at your next party.
Lamb with Orzo & Minted Goat Cheese
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 1 hour (20 mins prep / 30 mins cooking / 10 mins resting)
- 1 whole lamb rack, trimmed and frenched
- Vegetable oil
- Salt, to taste
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 baby eggplants, cut in half and scored
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Ingredients: Minted Goat Cheese
- 1-150 gram log soft goat cheese
- ¼ cup mint leaves, finely minced and a few for garnishing
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 180ºC.
- Trim off any excess fat and connective tissue on the lamb rack. Remove the shoulder blade if present.
- Season the lamb generously with salt.
- Heat a pan over high heat with a little vegetable oil. Sear the lamb fat-side down until the fat renders and the lamb takes on a golden color, about four minutes.
- Transfer the rack on a baking tray and cook the lamb until the center of the loin registers 48ºC on a thermometer, around 18–20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Trim the stems of the eggplant and cut them in half. Carefully score the flesh of the eggplant, creating a diamond pattern. Do not pierce the skin.
- Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake until they are completely soft, about 20 minutes.
Procedure: Orzo and Peppers
- Using a blow torch or gas range, scorch the peppers until they are completely black. Wrap in foil for five minutes.
- Scrape the charred skin off the peppers and rinse lightly under running water.
- Discard the seeds and stems. Cut into brunoise and set aside.
- Cook the orzo according to the manufacturer’s directions. Drain and rinse.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the orzo, peppers, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside for plating.
Procedure: Minted Goat Cheese
- Using a stiff spatula, smoothen and soften the goat cheese in a mixing bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, minced mint, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
At this point, you should have completed all the procedures for the components listed above: the lamb rack, orzo, eggplant and minted goat cheese.
Completed Component Portions
- Lamb rack, seared and roasted
- 1¼ cup orzo and peppers
- 12 halves of eggplant, baked
- ¼ cup minted goat cheese
Assembling Everything Together
- Cut the lamb rack in between the bones to have at least eight individual chops.
- Smear the minted goat cheese on the plate.
- Spoon over a little orzo next to the cheese.
- Put three pieces of eggplant on the plate.
- Add two chops per plate.
- Season with salt and pepper, serve immediately.