Top Shows

MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Episode 1 - Spiced Lamb Cutlets

Jessica Arnott

Spiced Lamb Cutlets

Serves 4



1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted

1 tbsp nigella seeds, toasted

2 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground white pepper

2 tbsp ground sumac

2 x 6 point rack of lamb , cleaned, trimmings reserved

2 tbsp cooking quality olive oil plus more for drizzling

salt and pepper, to taste



1/4 cup red quinoa, cooked and cooled

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped

1 bunch oregano, finely chopped

zest 1 lemon

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 shallot

1/4 preserved lemon

125g cherry tomatoes , cut into quarters

100ml extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste


Eggplant Puree

1 x 450 g eggplant, green leaves removed

2 anchovies

1 small clove garlic

salt and pepper, to taste



1 tbsp olive oil

1 small brown onion

1 small carrot

1 stick celery

3 tbsp sherry

1 tsp sherry vinegar

200ml chicken stock

salt and pepper, to taste



  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • To make the spice mix for the lamb, place cumin seeds, nigella seeds, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, 3 tablespoons black pepper, white pepper, sumac and 1 tablespoon salt in a bowl and mix. Set aside.
  • To make the tabouli, place quinoa, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon zest, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and cherry tomatoes in a bowl and toss to combine. Season.
  • To make the dressing place shallot and preserved lemon , olive oil and sherry vinegar in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season and drizzle over quinoa mix. Toss to combine and set aside.
  • To make the eggplant puree, place eggplant directly onto gas burner. Try to have as much contact between the eggplant skin and the flame as possible. Use tongs to rotate until all sides are charred and the eggplant is tender all the way through. Remove from heat and when cool enough to handle, peel all the black skin from the eggplant. Transfer eggplant pulp to a food processor. Add the garlic and anchovy fillets and blend until smooth. Transfer into a small saucepan, season and set aside, keeping warm.
  • To make the sauce, place olive oil in a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Add the lamb rack trimmings and cook until browned all over. Add onion, carrot, celery and 1 teaspoon of spice mix and cook until browned. Deglaze the saucepan with sherry and sherry vinegar, making sure to scrape all the sticky brown bits off the bottom of the pan. When the alcohol and vinegar have burnt off and reduced, add chicken stock and leave to simmer until thick and rich, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, strain, season and set aside, keeping warm.
  • To cook the lamb, place 2 tablespoons olive oil in frypan and set over medium heat. Add lamb racks and brown the racks well on all sides. Remove rack from frypan and press into remaining spice mix, to coat. Return racks to frypan, drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven to finish cooking, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cover and allow to rest, 10 minutes.
  • Slice the rack of lamb into cutlets and season each piece of meat.
  • To serve, spoon eggplant puree in the center of each plate and flatten into a circle. Add a small mound of the tabouli on top of the puree. Stack 3 cutlets on top and then drizzle the lamb sauce around the plate and a little over the top of the cutlets.