Lamb with Pistachio Pesto

Lamb with potatoes and pesto

I grew up on rys, vleis en aartappels (Afrikaans for rice, meat and potatoes). Even though I now live in the UK, I still base the meals that I cook on the principle of decide on the meat first and then you worry about the sides later.

With that said, I was also quite fortunate to have grown up in a country where meat is in abundance. South Africa has butchers that is larger than our Sainsbury’s Local down the road! My parents used to get a whole lamb at a time and then have the butcher pack it with the different cuts.

On Saturday evenings after the rugby my dad will put a whole rack of lamb ribs into the oven and we would have that with pap (a maize porridge similar to American grits or European polenta). Our faces would be shiny after the meal from all the fat!

Nowadays I like to keep things a little more healthy (and cheaper!) and cook French-trimmed lamb ribs with a bit of potatoes and an awesome pistachio pesto.

This recipe is enough for two people.

Ingredients

  • 4 Lamb cutlets (I used Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference)
  • 20 baby new potatoes
  • A couple of squirts olive oil (Mine is sprayable)
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried chipotle chilli
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds

Pesto

  • 28g flat leaf parsley (including stalks)
  • 28g fresh mint leaves (leaves picked, discard stalks)
  • 28g rocket leaves
  • 30g parmesan cheese
  • 50g pistachio nuts (unsalted)
  • 50g cashews (unsalted)
  • 20g walnuts (unsalted)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup water (or as needed)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Start by boiling the potatoes in a pot of salted water until soft. Once potatoes are soft, place on a baking tray and crush them lightly with the back of a wooden spoon. Squirt with olive oil and sprinkle over dried garlic, coriander and chipotle chilli. Place in a preheated oven at 220 degrees for 10 minutes.
  2. Make the pesto by blending all ingredients in a blender. If you want it more runny then add more water.
  3. Lastly cook the lamb just before serving. I like mine medium so I cooked it for 2 minutes on either side on a high heat. My hubby likes his to be medium to well so I cooked his for 3 and a half minutes on either side. I added a garlic salt during cooking and, at the last minute, gave it a squeeze of lime. I’ve rested the meat for 5 minutes (whilst I was plating the potatoes and scraping out the pesto from the blender) before serving. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds.

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