Roasted Rack of Lamb and Potatoes with Stewed Sweet Onion and Fennel
Sheep and goats have wondered the hilly fields of Provence for centuries – providing milk for all the wonderful regional cheeses. Larger animals such as dairy cows and beef cattle are not well-suited to the harsh Mediterranean climate and limited grazing land. The seasonal movement of the sheep and goat herds to and from higher/lower pastures is called transhumance (more on that later). It is in the prealps, or the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence where these animals spend their summer months to take advantage of the slighter cooler temperatures.
Foodies can be assured of quality lamb from Sisteron known as César lamb that achieved Label Rouge standard of excellence in 1995. Look for this quality label in stores. Lamb from the Mt Ventoux area including Sault also gets high marks. However, there are many good local producers throughout Provence, try and find one close to where you live or a reputable butcher.
Gilles at Provence Gourmet shared the photos and recipe. This is his version of roasted rack of lamb, served with baked potatoes and a garnish of stewed sweet onion and fennel. It is a tribute to his grandmother’s kitchen you can read more on that here.
Rack of Lamb with Potatoes, Sweet Onions and Fennel
Note for the lamb: Recommended cooking is slightly pink on the inside. If not cooked enough put the chops back in the dish and in the oven for a few minutes.
Note: If your garlic cloves are big, crush them just a little to favor the cooking.