Home-smoked lamb rack with lamb jus, apricot-walnut couscous, blue cheese-lamb tikki

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This is a complicated, many-faceted dish but is well worth the time and patience it takes to make. The rich, meaty lamb is complemented perfectly by the sweet apricots and sour blue cheese. Vineet Bhatia has come up with an unusual flavour combination that is sure to tickle your taste buds.

First published in 2015




Home-smoked tandoori lamb rack

First marinade

Second marinade

For smoking

Cinnamon lamb jus

Apricot-walnut couscous

Blue cheese lamb tikki


  • Gas burner


For the home-smoked tandoori lamb rack, lightly pierce the lamb racks all over with a knife, then place them in a bowl
Add all the ingredients for the first marinade and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Rub them into the meat and set aside for 30 minutes
Add the ingredients for the second marinade and massage them into the lamb
Place the lamb in a large, deep roasting tin and make a space in the centre. Put a small steel bowl big enough for 1 piece of charcoal in the centre making sure it is not touching the lamb
  • charcoal
Heat the charcoal over a gas burner until red hot then use tongs to transfer it to the steel bowl. Put the cinnamon and cardamom on the charcoal, melt the ghee or butter and over it
As it begins to smoke, immediately cover the roasting tin with foil to trap all the smoke. Leave to marinate for 6 hours
For the cinnamon jus heat the oil in a pan and add the whole spices, bay leaf, garlic, ginger and green chilli. Sauté for a minute, then add the banana shallot and tomato and sauté for 2 minutes
Add the lamb trimmings, raise the heat and cook until seared. Pour in the lamb stock. 5 Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add the coriander stalks and some salt
Cook gently for 10 minutes, remove from the heat. Add the cinnamon powder and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and check the seasoning. Warm to serve
For the apricot-walnut couscous, bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a saucepan and add half the oil and some salt
  • 100ml of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt
Remove from the heat, add the couscous and butter, then cover with cling film and leave for 15 minutes. Remove the cling film and break up the couscous with a fork
Gently stir in all the remaining ingredients and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
For the blue cheese lamb tikki, place the minced lamb, garlic, ginger, garam masala, chilli powder, green chilli, coriander stalks, leaves and salt in a bowl
Knead with the palm of your hand for 5 minutes, until the spices are evenly distributed. Chill for 1 hour to firm up. Mix the stilton with the remaining ingredients and chill
Shape the meat into 4 burgers, chill for 30 minutes to allow the burgers to firm. Heat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.Cook on a grill till ¾ cooked and place on a roasting tray.
Divide the blue cheese mixture between the lamb tikkis and cook for 4 minutes until the tikkis are cooked and the cheese has melted. Keep warm while the lamb cooks
To cook the lamb heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Transfer the racks to a clean roasting tin, roast for 9 minutes, basting regularly with the excess marinade
The lamb should be pink in the centre. Remove from the oven and leave to rest on a wire rack for 2 minutes
To plate, press each portion of the couscous into a circular steel ring, then gently remove the ring, leaving a neat mound of couscous on the plate
Place a lamb burger on top of the mound
Settle the lamb rack next to the couscous, and then sweep the cinnamon jus around the edge of the meat. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

While Vineet Bhatia has borrowed from European traditions to plate up his food, the manner and matter of his dishes are unmistakably those of India, handled with immense sophistication and personal panache.

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