Barbecued lamb chops with a butternut squash ring, couscous, asparagus

  • For the Moroccan spice rub
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • For the lamb
  • 2 1/2 domestic large eye lamb racks
  • 480ml olive oil
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
  • Moroccan spice rub, recipe follows
  • For the squash rings
  • 12 pieces baby sunburst squash, tops trimmed
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Moroccan spice rub
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon oil
  • For the asparagus
  • 20 asparagus, peeled up to the tips
  • 1 bunch chives, blanched for 5 seconds, shocked in ice water
  • Butter
  • For the couscous
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Moroccan spice rub
  • 400g Moroccan couscous
  • For the red wine sauce
  • 500ml veal stock
  • 125ml port
  • 125ml merlot
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
For the Moroccan spice rub:
1) Toast the coriander, cumin and fennel and grind in a spice grinder to a powder. Add to the other spices and mix well.

For the lamb:
1) Trim all fat from the lamb racks and cut each lamb rack into 4 pieces. Marinate the lamb in the olive oil, rosemary and garlic for at least 1 day and up to 7 days, refrigerated.

2) Remove the lamb from the marinade and remove all the rosemary and garlic sticking to the meat. Use 1 tbsp of the spice rub to coat the racks. Barbecue the racks over a high heat for 3 minutes on both sides. At this point the lamb can be finished in a 200C/Gas 6 oven in about 5 minutes for medium rare.

3) Serve the lamb with the squash rings, asparagus, couscous and red wine sauce.

For the squash rings:
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Peel the squash. Starting at the top of the squash cut horizontally through at 2cm intervals until you have 4 pieces. Using a pastry ring cutter remove the inside of each piece so that you have a ring. Place rings in a baking dish.

2) In a bowl combine the butter, honey, 1 tbsp of the spice rub, lemon juice and lemon oil. Pour over the squash rings. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until the rings are soft.

For the asparagus:
1) In boiling water blanch asparagus for about 2 minutes or until al dente. Shock in an ice bath. Use the chives as string to tie bundles of 5 asparagus together.

2) When ready to serve saute the bundles in butter just until warmed through.

For the couscous:
1) In a small pan bring the vegetable stock, olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and 1 tsp of the spice rub to a boil.

2) Add the couscous, stir, cover, and remove from the heat. The couscous will be ready in about 5 minutes.

For the red wine sauce:
1) Reduce all ingredients to a nice consistency and strain.

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