Rack of Lamb Baked with a Smoked Salt Crust and Mulberry and Tomato Compote

Serves four | Preparation Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 1 hour plus 15 min resting time

Ingredients
  • 250g Smoking wood chips or tea leaves
  • 1,5kg Coarse sea salt
  • 6 tbsp Thyme
  • 5 – 6 Egg whites
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 30g Butter
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin, fennel, paprika
  • 8 cutlets Rack of lamb
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the compote
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 500g Cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 300g Mulberries
  • 100g Castor sugar
  • 100ml Water
  • Juice of one lemon
Method
  1. Start by smoking the salt: place the wood chips or tea leaves in the base of a deep set baking tray. Place a snugly fitting wire rack in the tray.
  2. Use tin foil to create a rectangular vessel to hold the salt. Place this on the wire rack and cover the whole tray with tin foil, making sure that it is well sealed. Place over high heat on a stove top, or Weber, and as soon as smoke starts escaping from the tray, remove from the heat and leave to smoke for 20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, heat the olive oil and butter together in a pan over medium high heat. Brush the lamb rack with mustard. Mix the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle over the meat. Sear the lamb on every side until golden brown in color. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the smoked salt and thyme in a bowl and mix. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and slowly add to the salt – the consistency you are looking for should be soft, but firm enough to shape around the lamb. To make the crust, scoop a little bit of salt onto the lamb at a time.
  5. Place on a baking tray and in a preheated oven of 180C, or a Weber over medium coals. Bake for 35 min, for medium rare meat (leave for an extra 5-7 min if you want your meat well done). You can also make a small incision in the rack to check for doneness.
  6. Make the compote by heating the olive in a pan over high heat. Toss the tomatoes in the pan, until slightly soft and some color appears. Add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute. Follow with mulberries, sugar, and water.
  7. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes or until sticky, yet gooey, stirring gently only until the sugar dissolves. Finish with the lemon juice and season to taste with salt.
  8. Remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Slice the lamb into 8 cutlets, removing the salt crust and serve with the compote.