Rack of lamb with a herb and walnut crust

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INGREDIENTS: 2 racks of lamb, each with 6 chops, to allow 2 chops per person, 1 onion, skinned and very finely diced, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 6oz/170g pinhead oatmeal, 2oz/55g walnuts, chopped quite finely, 1 level teaspoon salt and 10-15 grinds of black pepper, sprig of rosemary about 4in/10cm in length, 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves.

METHOD: In a wide-based pan fry the finely diced onion in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the oatmeal, chopped walnuts, salt and black pepper. Stir and fry for 5 more minutes, then take the pan off the heat and cool the contents. Strip the rosemary leaves from the stalks and chop them. Add the chopped rosemary, parsley and mint to the oatmeal mixture, and mix well.

Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a roasting tin and put the lamb racks onto this. Press the crust mixture evenly over each rack, then roast in a moderate heat, 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 1-and a half hours. Reduce the heat to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 3 and roast for a further 30 minutes. The lamb fat should have melted into the oatmeal crust, and the meat be almost forkable from the bones.

If you prefer pink lamb, put the racks in to roast at a higher temperature, 200C/400F/ Gas Mark 6 for 30-35 minutes.