Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Welsh rack of lamb

The loin is the most tender – and from my point of view also the most exciting piece of lamb. In this recipe combined with creamy polenta, a Mediterranean sauce with honey, fresh vegetables and spicy cherries for a special kick.

The lamb for my recipe comes from Wales. The small country to the west of England has a population of 3 million and about 11 million sheep. In the maritime climate, the animals grow up in small herds in a predominantly mountainous landscape. The focus in production is exclusively on meat and not on the production of wool and co. This is very beneficial to the quality: Wales has the ideal natural conditions for lush pastures with lush green grass and fragrant wild herbs. This exceptional flora contributes to the unique and distinctive flavor of tender and succulent Welsh lamb.

The lamb season starts in June

Lamb is a seasonal product – just like fruits and vegetables, there is also a peak season for lamb, when it is available in larger quantities and in the best taste quality. In Wales, where the breeding and rearing of lambs has a centuries-old tradition, the natural rhythm of nature is respected. The Welsh lambs are therefore born in the open air in a completely natural way and raised by the ewes. Depending on the geographical location, the animals are born at the earliest from the end of February. The recommended age for slaughter is between the fourth and ninth, maximum twelfth month. Therefore, the peak season for Welsh lamb does not start before June and ends in December. Welsh lamb is also available in smaller quantities from January to the end of May, but it is recommended to enjoy Welsh lamb during the high season. Because then the meat with the special quality and unmistakable mild flavor is best!

My lamb: From the grill and Mediterranean combined

My lamb I wanted to implement pure and clear to bring out the flavor clearly. I grilled the lamb loins accordingly only briefly but very hot and then cooked in the oven.

The sauce is based on a very light red wine, some lamb stock and fresh thyme, but it is added briefly at the very end.

To keep the dish summery light I combine it with my new favorite vegetable: leeks. And that is only lightly cooked, with a touch of butter and a little lemon juice and zest. Actually a chance discovery, but now very regularly on our table. As a further side dish (of course also to be able to absorb the whole sauce well) there is a creamy polenta.

For a little extra kick, I add ripe cherries, which I toss briefly in port and honey along with a large chili pepper.

A perfect dish for warm summer evenings and really quite easy to implement. It goes perfectly with a fresh rosé.


For four people

3-4 Welsh rack of lamb (ideally with saddle) á 400 500 gr
1/4 l lamb stock
1/8 l vegetable stock
1/8 l port wine

1/4 l light red wine (e.g. Pinot Noir)
two leeks
8 tablespoons leek oil from Johannes King

16 ripe cherries
1 hot chili pepper
2 lemons
300 g polenta
50 g parmesan
10 ml olive oil
20 g butter


For the sauce, first finely dice the shallots and slowly sauté with a little olive oil. Deglaze with red wine and lamb stock, add the honey and reduce over low heat to about a third of the liquid. Just before serving, add the thyme and let stand for about 5 minutes. Then pass the sauce through a sieve, season with salt, pepper and possibly some more honey and assemble with ice-cold butter.

The lamb should come slowly to room temperature before preparation. It is best to take it out of the refrigerator two hours beforehand and rub it all around with salt. Roast on hot grill for about 90 seconds, then turn 90 degrees and grill again for 1.5 minutes. Then turn over and repeat the procedure. This gives the meat a nice grill pattern. Then place two squares each, interlocked, and cook over lower heat for 5 minutes. In the final step, the lamb goes into the oven to pull to the ideal core temperature of 54 degrees at about 100 degrees. This takes about 20 minutes.

Only before serving did I remove the blanket (and silver skins) from the lamb. You can also do this before grilling, but I find that just the crisp grilled fat saddle gives off a strong smoky flavor while protecting the meat from direct heat.

Cook the polenta according to instructions. For my dish I worked with already precooked polenta, this is already cooked after about 5 minutes. Add 25gr butter and 50gr parmesan and stir until creamy, add some vegetable stock if necessary if the polenta becomes too firm.

The leeks are cut diagonally into slices about 0.75cm thick and sautéed in a little butter. To deglaze, add some vegetable stock and the juice of half a lemon. Let stand briefly until the vegetables have the desired bite, season with salt, pepper and grated lemon zest.

For the cherries, heat the port, add the chili pepper and let it reduce greatly (to about 1/3). Now you can reduce the temperature and add the pitted cherries with a little butter for about 5 minutes. Now toss them vigorously so that they are vigorously covered with the broth all around.

To serve, carve the lamb into wide chops. First spread the polenta on the plate and place the meat on top. The leek can be well placed next to it on the side. Spread some of the leek oil over the top and drape a quarter of a chili pepper on top. On the other side of the meat put two cherries. Finally, pour the thyme-honey sauce. You can sprinkle some thyme over the meat – and, if available, dried or fresh flowers as well as some fleur de sel.

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