My boyfriend and I love our little apartment above a Chinese restaurant. It’s spacious, well-lit, and reasonably priced for our hip little Cambridge neighborhood. But if there’s one thing we could change, it would be our backyard – aka a parking lot and loading zone for the candy factory next door to the building. As we often to sing to each other, “All we want is a grill somewhere…“
Yes, a grill (or a Big Geen Egg) one day would be loverly. But for now we take advantage of the next best thing in our kitchen: the oven broiler.
For this broiled tandoori-style rack of lamb, I adapted and modified liberally from this Food and Wine recipe. I was also inspired to put together the accompanying vegetable medley after watching the otherwise terrible Gurinder Chadha film The Mistress of Spices, spurred by a line of dialogue recommending a specific mix of ingredients and spices. All together, the meat and side dish went perfectly together – a delectable blend of savory spices, textures, and flavors.
- 1 rack of lamb
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (milk or half-and-half would also suffice)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Small piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 5-8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 TB white vinegar
- 1 TB garam masala
- Cayenne pepper
Smoked Eggplant-and-Potato Medley
- 1 purple eggplant
- 3 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped into cubes
- 1 cup broth + additional water
- 1 TB butter
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 dozen cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
- 3-5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 TB white vinegar
- Powdered turmeric, paprika, ginger, garlic, onion, cumin, cayenne pepper, and pumpkin pie spice
- Black Pepper
Prepare the yogurt marinade the night or morning before you intend to broil the lamb. Using a small knife, cut a shallow slash in between each lamb rib or chop. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, cream (or milk), lemon juice, ginger, garlic, vinegar, and garam masala with a healthy dose of paprika, cayenne, and salt. Coat the rack in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
Several hours later, remove the meat from the cold and let sit at room temperature for half an hour or so while you get started on the veggies.
Slice up the onion, tomato, and garlic, then add it all to a large bowl. Set aside.
Use a fork to pierce the eggplant all around, creating little holes for the steam to escape, then wrap it tightly in three separate layers of aluminum foil. Put the range on medium-high and set the eggplant on top. Let it smoke for about 15 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn two or three times to allow it evenly heat.
On a different range, place the potato pieces in a small sauce pan and add the broth and just enough water to cover. Heat until softened.
When the eggplant is ready, remove from the stove and peel away the foil. (Be careful – it will be very hot!) Slit the eggplant open and scoop out the soft, silky insides into the bowl with the other vegetables. Set aside for a moment.
Remove the lamb from the marinade and place onto your broiler pan. Insert the pan into the broiler and cook for 11 minutes on each side, for a total of 22 minutes in the oven. When done, the rack should be crispy and browned on each side, but medium-pink and juicy in the middle. It will smell amazing, I promise.
While the lamb is broiling, melt the butter in a medium-low pan, then add the contents of the veggie bowl. Drain the softened potatoes, then throw them in the pan as well. Splash with vinegar. At your discretion, sprinkle the pan with powdered turmeric, paprika, ginger, garlic, onion, cumin, cayenne pepper, pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, and salt. Heat until much of the moisture has evaporated and the vegetables are a beautiful, bright yellow.
Serve with a generous helping of naan!