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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.

Provence Cooking Classes Provence Gourmet

Rack of Lamb with Potatoes, Sweet Onions and Fennel

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Racks of Lamb about 6 chops per person (about 1,5kg - 3.3 lbs))
  • 1 (75g) tbsp Anchovy paste
  • 1 (75g) tbsp Butter
  • 1 (75g) tbsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 (75g) tbsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 1/4 (1kg) lb Pink-skinned Potatoes
  • 10 Garlic Cloves
  • 5 Fresh Fennel Bulbs
  • 3 Sweet Yellow Onions
  • olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

For the stewed vegetables

  • Peel and chop the onions into a small square shape.
  • Cut off the green part of the fennel and remove the first layer, rinse and chop into similar size pieces as the onions.
  • In a stockpot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Add the onions, salt & pepper and stir to let them brown a little.
  • Then add the chopped fennel, stir, turn to low heat and let it cook for approximately 45 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Taste to check if the seasoning is to your taste and the vegetables are cooked (they should be almost "melting".

To prepare the lamb

  • Mix the butter with the anchovy paste.
  • With that mixture coat the racks of lamb and add pepper, thyme and rosemary.
  • Set the racks straight up in an ovenproof dish.
  • In that same ovenproof dish add the rinsed potatoes, lightly salted, along with the unpeeled garlic.
    Roasted Rack of Lamb @ProvenceCook
  • Put in a hot oven for 40 minutes at a temperature of 375F° (190°C).
  • After 40 minutes, cut the racks chop-by-chop for serving.
    Roasted Rack of Lamb @ProvenceCook
  • To check if the potatoes are cooked with a small sharp knife. It should go in an out easily.
  • Serve the lamb chops with the roasted potatoes and the stewed onion-fennel blend.

Notes

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.
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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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