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Spring Lamb Rack with Pea and Pancetta Salad and Mint Béarnaise

Celeste’s main course recipe from week 4 of Come Dine With Me Australia.


  • 50ml olive oil

  • 4 x 4-rib lamb racks (about 220gm each)

  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

  • 1 thinly sliced red onion

  • 20 cherry tomatoes with the skin pricked

  • 8 slices of torn pancetta (about 100gm)

  • 150gm podded peas

  • ¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves, coarsely torn

  • Mint béarnaise

  • 100ml white wine vinegar

  • 3 sprigs of mint

  • 3 black peppercorns

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • 3 egg yolks

  • 225ml clarified butter

  • Sea salt & pepper to taste


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based roasting pan over medium-high heat. Season lamb and cook for 5 minutes, turning until browned all over.

  • 2.

    Roast in oven for 8 – 10 minutes, turning once for medium-rare (or longer, if desired). Rest for 10 minutes covered loosely with foil

  • 3.

    Heat the remaining olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat, sauté onion for 5 minutes or until soft. Add cherry tomatoes and pancetta and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes just split

  • 4.

    Blanch peas in boiling, salted water for 5 – 7 minutes or until just tender. Drain, add tomato mixture and stir to combine. Season to taste and add mint leaves.

  • Mint béarnaise:

  • 1.

    Combine the vinegar, mint sauce, peppercorns and shallot in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until reduced to 40 ml (2 tablespoons). Strain in a bowl, disregarding the solids

  • 2.

    Whisk egg yolks and the vinegar reduction in a large heat-proof bowl over gently simmering water until pale and thick, then gradually whisk in clarified butter until well combined.

  • 3.

    Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4.

    Coarsely chop the mint leaves and add to the béarnaise. Stand in a warm place until required. Makes 1 cup.

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