Smoked lamb rack with artichokes and romesco sauce

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Perfectly pink lamb is paired with artichokes braised in sherry and crushed Jerusalem artichokes, with a little romesco sauce, halved grelot onions, peppers and nuts in this beautiful light main course.

This dish was the winning main in the UK finals of the 2021 Copa Jerez competition, which seeks out the best three-course menu to go perfectly with a range of sherry wines. It was created by chef Vincenzo Raffone along with sommelier Mattia Mazzi especially for the competition.

First published in 2021






Jerusalem artichoke

Baby artichoke

To serve


Begin by making the romesco sauce. Use a blowtorch to blacken the peppers all over, then peel away the skin. Dice the peppers, removing the stalks and seeds, then cook in a little olive oil with the garlic until soft. Add the nuts and tomato purée and cook for a few more minutes, then add the paprika and enough stock to just cover the peppers. Bring to a simmer, cook gently for 15 minutes, then transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and blitz until smooth. Taste for seasoning, cover and set aside
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, peel and dice the Jerusalem artichokes. Once the water is boiling, add them to the pan and cook until soft (around 15 minutes). Drain, crush lightly with the back of a fork then season with salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Keep warm
For the baby artichokes, trim and peel each one then add to a pan with a little olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the rosemary and sherry. Cover and leave to gently simmer until tender and cooked through. Keep warm once ready
For the lamb, place the rack in a sealed container and use a smoking gun filled with applewood chips to smoke it for around 1 minute (this step is optional). Preheat an oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
Season and sear the lamb rack all over in a pan with a little oil until browned, then transfer to the oven to finish cooking (around 8 minutes). Leave to rest for 5 minutes
While the lamb rests, halve the grelot onions and fry in a pan with a little oil until caramelised. Add the diced red pepper and cook until soft
When ready to serve, carve the rack into individual cutlets, then carve half of the cutlets off the bone. Place a spoonful of the crushed Jerusalem artichokes on each plate, then top with a piece of lamb. Arrange another piece of lamb per plate alongside, then begin layering up the romesco sauce, diced pepper and toasted hazelnuts. Add the braised baby artichokes and grelot onions

Vincenzo is a chef with years of experience, who won the Copa Jerez competition in 2021 with sommelier Mattia Mazzi.

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