Lamb racks are often cooked hard and fast - in this case we've
taken the slower road for ultra-tender results. Start this recipe a
day ahead to soak the beans.
60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil4 garlic cloves, finely chopped3 tsp finely chopped thyme, plus 8 sprigs extraFinely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon2 8-cutlet lamb racks Braised white beans2 tbspolive oil 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk and 1 onion, diced2 garlic cloves, finely chopped150 ml dry white wine1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock400 gm canned cherry tomatoes375 gm dried cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight, drained3 thyme sprig, plus extra leaves to serve1 fresh bay leafFinely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon1½ cups baby spinachBlack garlic aïoli4 cloves black garlic 2 cloves garlic2 egg yolks150 ml olive oil1 tbsp red wine vinegar1 tbsp lemon juice
Combine oil, garlic, chopped herbs, and lemon rind and juice in a bowl, add the lamb and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
For braised beans, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add diced vegetables and sauté until tender (5-6 minutes), then stir in garlic and fry until fragrant (30 seconds). Add wine,simmer until reduced by half (1-2 minutes), then add stock, tomatoes and beans, stir to combine, and add herbs and rind. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium, half-cover with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender (45-50 minutes). Discard sprigs and bay leaf, stir in lemon juice and spinach, and season to taste.
Preheat oven to 100C. Place herb sprigs in a roasting pan and drain lamb from marinade. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, then brown lamb well all over, place on herb bed and roast until cooked to your liking (40-45 minutes for medium-rare, and internal temperature reaches 54C-58C on a meat thermometer). Cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
For aïoli, blend black garlic, garlic and egg yolks in a food processor then, with motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream until mixture is thick and emulsified. Add vinegar and lemon juice, season to taste and process to combine; thin with a little hot water if necessary for a dollop consistency. Serve with lamb and bowls of braised beans.