Baharat spice mix

I realised the other day that I hadn’t made baharat for the longest time – never in Geneva and I’ve been here eight years. In Melbourne long ago I often used to put it on pork chops which were then put on a wood BBQ. The BBQ is not an option now, but pork abounds. Mix the baharat with olive oil and vinegar to make a paste. Rub all over the meat before baking in the oven until done. I cooked it fairly high, about 210C.

We had it hot on day one, but this is much better left and eaten cold, which is how we had it last night on a platter with stuffed eggs, falafels, cheese and so on. It is a good alternative to chicken in these summer rolls.

Like all these spice mixes, it is not written in stone. Like all good Australians, I’ve always used Tess Mallos’ version:

In a spice grinder:

70g black peppercorns
25g coriander seeds
10g cassia bark
20g cloves
35g cumin seeds
2 teaspoons cardamom seeds
4 whole nutmegs, smashed with a mallet
50g paprika

I make half this at a time, though if you use it a lot it is definitely worth doing the full quantity.

Another glaze for rack of lamb

This was just messing about, but it turned out to be divine.

Mix redcurrant jelly and mirin in a small saucepan and simmer for a while.

Brush on lamb and baste during cooking.

Serve with the glaze from the cooking process drizzled over.

The lamb: it really does just depend. I find that anywhere between half and a whole rack is for two people. How greedy are you? How many vegetables are you having?

At any rate, you preheat the oven to at least 220C and don’t cook for too long. Ten minutes might be enough for a half rack divided into two serves. It really should be rare. If you want to overcook it, I suggest there is no point cooking such a delicate and expensive cut of meat.

Something for a rack of lamb

They look so naked, racks of lamb. You need something on them before popping them in the oven. I seem to have mislaid my little book with my own notes on such matters, so this was off the cuff.

While oven is heating to 210C:

A couple of tblsps of a coriander and chilli jelly/jam I had in the cupboard
Several heaped teaspoons English mustard
A tblesp or so of tamari soy sauce
A tblesp of flour
A tblesp of olive oil
Some finely chopped rosemary

Thoroughly mix and then apply to the surfaces of the lamb. I cut an 8 point rack into two first, it needs a bit less time to cook and another surface for the paste.

In my oven it needs about 15 minutes in the oven for meat that is still a little rare in the middle. We didn’t let it stand afterwards. Too greedy.

A nice combination, but nothing like cast in stone, it really is ‘what’s about?’. As we will continue to demonstrate another time.