This technique has been on my to-try list for ages. I wish I had a good reason for putting it off so long, but we’re making up for a lost time. We may or may not have enjoyed three fish prepared this way in the past week alone. It is incredibly easy to do, and in my experience, turns out perfectly every time.
If you happen to have a nice oven-proof serving platter available, I would encourage you to serve the whole rack of lamb tableside straight from the oven. It’s fun to watch the crust being cracked open, exposing the perfectly cooked lamb. Word of warning though: Have a spare plate available for the pieces of the salt crust as you remove them or you’ll have a mess on your hands.
Before you start to worry about if the lamb will turn out too salty, I can assure you that it does not. In order to ensure that your lamb is perfectly seasoned without tasting too salty, there are a few things you need to be sure to do correctly:
- Use Kosher Salt. If you absolutely cannot find Kosher salt, you can use Sea Salt, but it must be coarse ground. Do not use table salt. I cannot stress that enough. You will ruin your fish. No. Table. Salt. Ever.
- Be sure to bake the lamb long enough, and not spread your salt mixture too thick. You want the salt crust to be a deep, golden brown color, being careful not to allow the crust to scorch. You need the egg white to cook through and not still be liquid on the inside at the end of the baking time. The trick is to have the egg white/salt mixture covering the lamb completely on all sides so that it seals in the moisture and allows the lamb to steam inside of the crust. You also don’t want to spread it on so thick that it doesn’t cook through. If it hasn’t cooked through completely, the remaining uncooked egg white/salt mixture could cause the lamb to taste too salty. I usually try to spread it 1/2-3/4 inches thick, but not more than that if possible.
We then plate it with the mint jelly we brought during our Melbourne trip. This mint jelly taste perfectly with this meet.
- free-range spiced racks of lamb
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 kg fine salt
- 500 g coarse salt
- 3 egg whites
- 20 g thyme, chopped
Sear the Woolworths free-range spiced racks of lamb in a hot pan in olive oil for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Mix the fine salt and coarse salt with egg whites and chopped rosemary. Place ⅓ of the salt mixture in the bottom of a roasting tray into which both racks of lamb will fit snugly. Top with the racks of lamb and pat the remaining salt mixture onto the lamb to form a crust. Bake for 25–35 minutes. Test with a meat thermometer – the internal temperature should be 135°C – or remove part of the salt crust and cut into the meat to see if it is cooked to your liking. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes before wiping or brushing off the salt.