This is an ideal recipe to serve as finger food or a quirky canapé. Quick and easy to prepare, this is a great way to open up the palate before a delicious meal. Spring lamb is extremely delicate; be carful not to overpower with excessive use of spices. A simple marinade and garlic sauce will make this mouth-watering rack of lamb stand out.

Marinated lamb chops with garlic and herb sauce

Serves 4 as an canapé

Ingredients

  • 1 rack of spring lamb (with 8 bones) French trimmed

To prepare the marinade:

  • 4 tbsps olive oil
  • A sprig of striped rosemary
  • A sprig of striped thyme
  • 1 tsp piment d’Espelette (Ground chili)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

To prepare the sauce:

  • 100ml milk
  • 2 peeled garlic clove
  • 250ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Method

To prepare the marinade:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a mortar and grind until the oil is properly infused. Rub the marinade all over the lamb rack and leave in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees C
  3. Heat a large, frying pan over a medium to high heat and brown the rack on the meaty sides for about 1-2 minutes, then turn and colour the other sides for a further 1 minute. Finally, brown the ends briefly so that all of the exposed meat is seared.
  4. Then place in an appropriate roasting tray and roast for approximately 10 minutes (depending on the size of the rack). Leave the meat to rest for a further 5 minutes before slicing each chop.

To prepare the sauce:

5. Place the milk and halved garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Gently heat making sure the liquid never boils. Once hot, use a hand blender to mix the garlic cloves and milk together.

6. Progressively incorporate the oil until the sauce emulsifies and thickens. Then pour the sauce into a small bowl and leave to cool down for 1 hour.

7. Once completely cold, whisk the chopped herbs into the sauce and serve alongside the lamb chops.

Matching Wines

Lamb is one of the most wine-friendly of meats. I suggest a dry, lightly chilled Gamay: Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes, La Voute St Vincent, Morgon 2013 to kick start your meal. Although red wine is not commonly served as an aperitif you can always continue to drink it with the rest of your meal.

With typical Mediterranean flavours a fresh and balanced rosé will do wonders to accompany this delicious aperitif. The Château de Pibarnon, Bandol, Provence 2014 has the perfect balance of acidity to stimulate the appetite.

For a serious wow factor or celebratory evening, I recommend Taittinger; the estate is still run by the Tattinger family. The Champagne Prestige Rosé Brut is lively and pink, full of delicate red berry aromas. A seamless match for this tantalising canapé.

Wines to drink with marinated lamb chops with garlic and herb sauce

Domaine Louis-Claude Desvignes, La Voute St Vincent Morgon, 2013
This red wine is bold in flavour and offers a subtle intensity that lingers beautifully on the palate.  Served slightly chilled to enjoy in the spring sunshine, this wine is deeply fruity allows a perfect balance to meaty dishes such as lamb.
RRP: Berry Bro & Rudd: £13.95

Château de Pibarnon, Bandol, Provence 2014
Chateau de Pibarnon, Bandol, Provence, 2014 – A refined and delicate Rose, with gentle floral aromas. On palate, the Rose is relatively dry and mildly acidic but it finishes off balanced and pleasantly sweet. The pairs extremely well with the Mediterranean flavours of the lamb.
RRP: Joseph Barnes Wine: £25.00

Taittinger: Champagne Prestige Rosé Brut
A real showstopper, this Rose Brut is extremely vibrant, light and very easy to drink. The light bubbles are wonderfully refreshing, whilst the sweet summer berry notes make for a smooth and easy finish on the palate. This Rose Brut is an incomparable match for any special occasion.
RRP: Ocado: £47.99