Roast lamb rack with peperonata

The peperonata is great with any barbecued or roasted meat, poultry or fish. Make it once and it's sure to become a staple. You can also make the peperonata by blackening whole capsicums on the stove top, then putting them in a bowl and covering with plastic wrap. When cool, they should have steamed to a soft texture. Peel and slice them, then make the sauce without the peppers and


  • 2 racks of lamb, each with 8 bones
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • ½ garlic bulb, horizontally cut in half, skin left on

  • For the peperonata (fried peppers or capsicum)
  • 2 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped oregano
  • 2 tsp salted baby capers, rinsed well
  • 2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, cut into 1cm strips
  • 1 yellow capsicum, cut into 1cm strips
  • 200g tinned cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup de-seeded Ligurian olives
  • 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 90°C. Trim fat from the lamb and season with salt.

For the lamb, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat. Gently fry the racks until golden brown all over.

Remove from pan and place on a bed of thyme along with the unpeeled garlic cloves in a baking tray. Put in oven for one hour, or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 55°C.

Remove from over and allow to rest somewhere warm for 10 minutes. Check garlic and, if needed, return to the oven and continue to cook until very soft.

For the peperonata, heat 2½ tbsp oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a low flame. Add onion, garlic and oregano, and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is soft.

Add capers and anchovy fillets and stir over heat for 2 minutes. Add capsicums and cherry tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until capsicum strips are soft and tender. Add olives, vinegar and sugar and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Cut each rack into portions and serve with a large spoonful of the peperonata and slow-cooked garlic.

NOTES: First published in the Good Weekend.