Spring rack of lamb traybake

The clocks have gone forward, the evenings are immediately lighter and it’s officially SUMMERTIME!

Well,ok, it’s still Spring really, being the last day of March and the streets are lined with blossom-heavy trees shedding pink and white snowflakes of petals in the breeze.

I bought a little rack of lamb from the butcher yesterday so it feels perfect time to cook it.

But … how? Now that is the question.

I unashamedly ADORE rack of lamb, and if I had to one day choose a last supper it’s always going to be on the list (yes there’s a list, and I don’t know how I’d ever choose). Rack of lamb, cooked pink in the middle, with dauphinoise potatoes and a green salad with a mustardy French dressing - definitely on my last supper list.

But I don’t really feel like potatoes, i want something light and Spring-like … so I was kind of thinking Moroccan flavours perhaps, or Middle Eastern, or just a good classic Mediterranean vibe.

Since I didn’t really have any of the ingredients to make it clearly one thing or the other, it just turned into a very lovely round-the-world-in-one-tray-bake rack of lamb.

And very good it was too.

So basically, this isn’t really a recipe as such, just hopefully a Spring-board (ha! pun!) for you to add vegetables to a dish, then a rack of lamb and cook it all together until it’s delicious.

Do not skimp on the garlic cloves though, whatever you do - squishing out that gorgeous soft roasted garlic and spreading it onto the lamb should not be missed.

For what it’s worth, here’s how I made mine for two people.

Preheat the oven to 180 ish / Gas 7 ish (I’m a little vague on temperatures as I have gas and it’s immediately at the right temperature - I just checked and gas 7 is apparently 200 but that sounds a bit high to me, so I’ve suggested 180).

I asked my butcher to cut me a little rack of lamb with four cutlets/chops and he also scored the fat - you’ll need to do that with a sharp knife if yours didn’t come with it already scored - and I seasoned the lamb with a little salt and pepper

I added a little oil to a non-stick frying pan and sealed the meat quickly on the back before turning over and cooking it skin-side down for two or three minutes and the fat was slightly browned.

Into a baking tray / dish I put:

1 courgette, washed and sliced

several cherry tomatoes

some sliced red and yellow peppers

four cloves of garlic (unpeeled, just pop them in whole)

half a red chilli, diced

a couple of spring onions, chopped

some chopped fresh mint leaves (I’d kind of wanted fresh basil initially but didn’t have any)

a twist each of salt and pepper, and a little dusting of some ground cumin

a few sprays of cooking oil

Toss it all together to mix, then arrange the lamb skin-side up on top and pop it all into the over.

Oh and a little grated lime zest on the lamb!

Check it after half an hour and see how it’s doing and if you want the lamb done more - I actually cut my lamb in half at this stage and decided to give it another ten minutes or so.

I also threw in some black olives and a handful of chopped coriander leaves (yup, told you the flavours were all over the place on this one!).

And … it was delicious …

I’m not sure you can really go wrong with roasted vegetables and rack of lamb, no matter what mixture of herbs you might throw in!



Lamb (leftovers) stir fry

I love a good roast dinner.  Lamb is probably my favourite - and my step-mum makes possibly the best roast lamb ever ... it's testimony only to the size of the lamb that there were leftovers at all!

We had the roast lamb last Sunday with mint sauce - of course - and roast potatoes and vegetables and an incredibly good gravy.

And on the Monday evening I made a simple stir fry with the leftovers (even simpler for me as my dad had done the work slicing all the meat into small-ish strips). 

I really like using fresh mint leaves in this - it's a sort of nod to the mint sauce of the day before.

We had enough lamb to serve four as a stir fry with rice.

Here's what you need:

1 garlic clove, minced

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass, outer tough parts removed and finely chopped

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced

Some chopped vegetables-  we had peppers and mushrooms

2-3 spring onions, sliced

cooked lamb, cut into strips or diced

fish sauce

light soy sauce

zest and juice of a lime

a handful of coriander leaves, chopped

a handful of mint leaves, chopped

rice, to serve

Heat a pan, add a little oil and when hot, tip in the garlic, chilli, lemongrass and ginger and stir over quite a high heat, moving the ingredients around in the pan constantly to prevent burning.

After about 30 seconds, when it starts to smell good, add the chopped vegetables and a little splash of water, enough to loosen it and make it easy to turn in the pan.

After a minute or so, add the cooked lamb, a couple of sloshes of soy sauce, one of fish sauce and the lime zest and juice, and continue cooking until the lamb is hot right through. 

Do taste and taste and taste as you add the sauces and lime - add half in first, stir and taste, before adding the remainder of each so you can check you're happy with how it tastes. If you think it's a bit too sour, just add a pinch of sugar.

When it's all ready, throw in the fresh herbs, immediately remove from heat and stir in to wilt.

And that's it! 

Serve with rice .... this is such an easy delicious dinner - I do hope you try it!

Rachel Redlaw lamb stir fry


Easter curry

This is forever after going to be known to me as Easter curry.  I do like having specific dishes for events so this is another to add to my list ... for instance, at Chinese New Year I make this barbecue pork, and for Pancake Day it's now a tradition to have crispy duck pancakes.  We usually have lamb for Easter lunch in my family anyway so it's just a tiny move on to making that a lamb curry.

My brother-in-law makes exceptionally good curries - he's been making them for years from scratch so has many, many hours of spice toasting and grinding practice under his belt, as well as an inspiring curry cookbook library.  Cookbooks are probably my favourite reading material and every time I visit it seems there are yet more gorgeous curry books to gorge on.  And curry too of course.

Our Easter curry was cooked outside using a Kadai fire bowl, which I LOVE. Love cooking outdoors anyway but curry outdoors, over the firebowl? THE BEST.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

We started with these delicious onion bhajis - I'll post the recipe when I make them ...

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

and then on to the main event, Easter Curry.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

Or as it was previously known, Mr Singh's slow-cooked lamb curry with cloves and cardamom from Rick Stein's India book.

It was SO GOOD.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

Oh, and then we had pavlova, made by my step-mum (also an excellent cook!).  YUM.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pavlova

So ... on Easter Monday I decided to make Easter curry for myself, but didn't have lamb.  I made it with chicken and it was still good, but I have to admit not quite as good as with lamb, and the Kardai cooking method adds something special too I'm sure.

Here's the recipe from Rick Stein, with pictures and variations by me.

Serves 4-6 (mine served 2)

1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (from about 8 green pods - I used five)

4-6 cloves (I used three)

3 medium onions (I used one and a half)

200g tomatoes (I used two tomatoes)

10 cloves garlic (yes, I used five!)

4 cm ginger (I just cut a small piece)

75ml vegetable oil (I just poured some in)

100ml thick Greek-style yogurt (again, I just poured in what looked right)

700g boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 4cm pieces (or if you want to make my version a couple of chicken breasts)

1 tsp salt (yup, half a teaspoon)

1 tsp garam masala (half)

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (half a teaspoon of ordinary chilli powder for me)

1 tablespoon single cream (I just poured in a bit)

Grind the cardamom and cloves into a powder (I used a pestle and mortar); set aside.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

In stages, using a mini food processor (or a full sized one, or a blender would do I'm sure) and rinsing out in between, roughly chop the onions then blend to a puree with a little water; roughly chop then puree the tomatoes; roughly chop then blend the garlic and ginger with a tablespoon of water to a slack paste (I used the pestle and mortar again here).

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion paste for 10-15 minutes until golden (10 mins was enough for my smaller amounts), then add the ginger and garlic and fry for three minutes.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

Stir in the yogurt, then add the meat and salt and cook over a low-medium heat for 20-30 mins until browned.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

Stir in the garam masala and chilli powder, and after about 30 seconds pour over enough water to just cover the meat.  Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes (30 minutes was enough for me).

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

Stir the cream and pureed tomatoes into the lamb (chicken), followed by the cardamom and clove mix.

To seal the pan, first cover with foil, then a lid (I just used a lid).  Cook over the lowest heat for 30-40 mins (again I think my smaller chicken version only needed 20 mins) until the lamb is tender.

Serve with chapatis (or rice).

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Easter curry

And DON'T wait until next Easter to make Easter curry - it's just too good!


This year I followed the recipe as above for the smaller portion - for two people - but used a couple of lamb leg steaks, trimming the fat and cutting into chunks.

I didn't have any single cream so just added another spoon of yogurt at that stage.

Loved it (will def be making again before NEXT Easter this time!).

Rachel Redlaw Easter Curry
Rachel Redlaw Easter Curry
Rachel Redlaw Easter Curry