Rack Up: Five Beaut Recipes To Take Your Lamb Cuts To The Next Level

Because we love a bloody good feed, PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with We Love Our Lamb to share five recipes inspired by The Currency Kitchen, a week-long restaurant pop-up in Sydney.

Iconic is oft-overused (and more than guilty, too), but it’s the first word we’d use to describe lamb. Followed by ‘juicy’, ‘tender’, and ‘yassss’. And while we’ve grown up with aromatic roasts and Friday night cutlets, there’s a whole range of instantly-iconic cuts to explore, from ribs to rump, shoulder to mince and more.
We’ve done the hard yards and a whole lotta taste testing to serve up these five stunner recipes perf for pretty much any occassion. Will you hit up an all too easy lamb mapo tofu, slow-cook a lamb shoulder packed with Persian flavours, turn to Tikka Masala-spiced loin chops or something else? Let’s dig in.

Bibs at the ready.
Serves 4
What you’ll need:
  • 800gms lamb ribs
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 4cm ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, salt-reduced
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spices
  • To serve: Red chilli, sesame seeds, green onions, jasmine rice
First step in this finger lickin’ fun? You’ll wanna marinate the ribs for 30 mins so they’re rich with spices. Mix together the garlic, ginger, oil, hoisin, soy sauce, maple syrup and 5 spice powder together, then leave it to work its magic with the ribs in a zip-lock bag or glass container.
When it’s been near halfa, you’ll want to preheat your barbie to medium heat. No BBQ? No problem – a char-grill pan works too. Now’s a good time to pop on the rice, too.
Reserve the marinade and drain the ribs, then cook them ’till they’re nicely charred. You’ll need to turn them regularly so they cook evenly/don’t burn. Should take about 15-20 minutes. When they’re done, cover them with foil and leave them to rest for 5. Don’t skip resting! It lets the juices settle in, meaning each bite is around 10x tastier.
For a sticky rib glaze, add 1/3 cup of water to the marinade mix and heat it in a saucepan, stirring until it’s a thickish sauce. Drizzle that bad boy over the ribs, then sprinkle on sliced chilli (if ya like a bit of heat), green onions and sesame seeds for crunch. Serve with rice to the side and Asian greens like bok choy, if you’re into it. Which you are.

Szechuan spice and everything nice.
Serves 4
What you’ll need: 
  • 400gm lamb mince
  • 300gm firm tofu
  • 150gm snow peas, thinly slices
  • 125gm baby corn
  • 1 bunch gai lan/Chinese broccoli, cut into three cm pieces
  • 180g udon noodles
  • 2 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3cm piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine vinegar (aka Shaoxing)
  • 1 tbsp chilli bean paste
  • 1 cup vege stock
  • 1 tbsp salt-reduced soy sauce
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 green onions
Yes, that’s a lot of ingredients, but this is probably one of the easiest recipes to make here. Plus, you have most of the smaller things lying around, I promise. 
First up, dry fry the Szechuan peppercorns in a frypan until fragrant (1-2mins). Grab your mortar and pestle and crush ’em up like the big, strong adult you really are. 
Now, crack out the wok (a large frying pan will work too), and add in the oil and lamb mince over medium-highish heat. When it’s browned, chuck in the garlic and ginger, then a minute later, the rice wine vinegar and chilli paste. Give that a minute as well, then add in the stock, bring it to the boil and chuck in the sugar and soy sauce.
It’s tofu time. Reduce the heat, and gently stir to coat the tofu, leaving it to simmer. When the sauce reduces around the eight minute mark, add in snowpeas, corn and gai lan. Now’s a good time to cook the udon noodles: follow the packet’s instructions. 
Divvy up the noodles across bowls, add on the mince mixture and sprinkle on green onions and Sichuan peppercorns for a mouth-numbing touch of spice. Damn.
Cop a chop.
Serves 4
What you’ll need:
  • 8 lamb loin chops
  • 250gm cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 800gm baby spinach, chopped
  • 400ml can coconut cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 brown onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 4cm ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp slivered almonds (best to buy them pre-slivered, it’s way easier)
  • 1/2 cup tikka masala curry paste
  • 1/3 cup coriander springs
  • To serve: basmati rice and roti/naan bread, if you’d like
These ain’t your mother’s lamb chops. The undercurrent of Indian spices make this perfect with a buttery, flaky roti. Only takes about a halfa, too.
Start off with the rice so it’s ready when the chops are. Grab your char-grill pan and cook the chops for 3-4mins each side over medium-high heat with oil. Rest each on a plate covered with foil as they’re done.
We’re multitasking here – cheftastic! In a frying pan, cook onion in oil until softened, then add curry paste, ginger and garlic and cook it until fragrant enough for your housemate to ask “oh my god, what ya cooking?” Then, stir in coconut cream, sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to the boil then reduce heat to low – add tomatoes and cook and until soft. Stir in the spinach.
Plate up the chops, spoon over the curry sauce, and sprinkle on almonds and coriander. Serve it with rice and a heated naan/roti for a hearty meal.
NEXT LEVEL: Steamed green beans are a simple but nice touch, and add a pop of colour to the plate.

I want this right now.
Serves 6 (Aka A+ for leftovers)
What you’ll need:
  • 1.4kg lamb shoulder, bone in
  • 600gm Kent pumpkin, cut into wedges
  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 big ol’ red onions, cut into wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp lemon thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted, lightly crushed
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup vege stock
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 100gm baby spinach or rocket
  • To serve: pomegranate seeds, mint sprigs, Greek yoghurt, lemon zest (grated lemon skin)
Is the best part of a slow-cooked lamb shoulder the pre-shadowing fragrances that overwhelm your kitchen? Or that reveal of a masterfully tender cut which melts off the bone? Or is it the impressed looks of your friends/family? We’re going to play congenial and say all three.
First step: preheat the oven to 200C. While we’re at it, you’ll need a deep roasting dish and two big baking trays lined with baking paper too. 
To season the lamb, you need to make some garlic-sized incisions and stuff in – you guessed it – garlic. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with molasses, lemon thyme, turmeric and coriander, and some seasoning too.
In the roasting dish, put the onions in the centre, then place the lamb on top. That way, they’ll soak up each other’s flavours. Pour over your marinade, drizzle the honey and pour in the stock at the base. Pop it all into the oven uncovered for 30 mins, then cover it with foil and cook it for somewhere between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. You want the meat to be falling off the bone – that’s when you take it out and let it rest. 
About 20 or so before you do take out the lamb is a good time to put in the veggies. Mix the pumpkin and cauliflower in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil, cumin and seasoning. Spread them out over the baking trays and cook them for 25-30 or so. Once they’re golden, the lamb’s prolly rested for long enough (around 10 mins). 
Plate up – be generous with those pan juices. Add baby spinach, pomegranate seeds, mint springs and lemon zest, with yoghurt on the side.

Way easier than it looks.

What you’ll need:
  • 600gm whole lamb rump, cap on
  • 2 tablespoons Koji (found in most Asian aisles)
  • Salt
Optional side: green beans with red miso
  • 200gm green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red miso
  • 1 tablespoon rice syrup/corn syrup
  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (you can probs find pre-toasted)
What beats a big piece of super juicy lamb? A big piece of super juicy barbecued lamb glazed with koji, a Japanese staple which adds an umami punch to lamb’s mouth-watering notes. Cho Cho San chef Nic Wong has generously shared his recipe, which brings fine-dining flavour without too much hassle.
You’ll need a barbecue for this one, set to medium heat. Sprinkle a little salt on the skin side of the rump, and lay it down on the grill, giving it a light press down. You’ll want to use a brush to apply koji to the flesh – the general idea to render some of the fat away and crisp the skin. It’s pretty easy! 
Once the skin’s looking caramelised (give it 10 or so), flip it over and brush the skin with koji. Turn down the heat and allow the koji to get all sticky and brown. Once it’s cooked, let the rump rest in a warm spot – your stove’s heat lamp is perf. Make sure you let it rest for 10-15: you want the juices to settle before cutting in. 
It’s perfect to pair with green beans with red miso, which should take no time. Cook it while the rump rests – in a pan, heat oil until nearly smoking, then add beans in. Grab some tongs and spread them out across the pan. When they’re looking a little withered (a few mins, max), remove them and get rid of the oil too. 
For the sauce, mix the garlic, miso and rice/corn syrup in a bowl, then add it to the pan. Should caramelise in about a minute, then pop in the beans. Get them nice and coated, then serve it with the rump with sesame seeds.
There you have it – now you know lamb better than you know yourself. Whoa.
Image: We Love Our Lamb.