2-3racks of lamb (about 24 chops altogether)French trimmed
freshly ground black pepper
100gfresh bread (about 3 medium slices)
300gsausages of your choice
1tsphot smoked paprika
freshly ground black pepper
Browning the racks
Take the lamb racks and score the fatty layer with a sharp knife, cutting at an angle twice, to create diamond shapes.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Heat a large frying pan on high heat and brown the fat layer on each rack for 30-60 seconds pressing down. The time will depend on how strong your heat is. Do this in batches if your pan isn't big enough.
Leave both racks to one side to cool while you get all the other ingredients ready. Leave the frying pan as is, we'll be using it and the fat for the stuffing.
Place the bread in a chopper and whizz to get breadcrumbs. Place in a large bowl.
Either by hand or in a chopper, chop up the cranberries roughly, just 2 - 3 pulses will do, you want them fairly big and course. Tip them into the bowl with the bread.
Chop up the onions next, they don't have to be superfine, coarse onions make for a better tasting stuffing. Place in the bowl.
And finally, do the same with the sausages, in batches, if you have to. Chop to a semi coarse grind and place in the bowl.
Add the sage, paprika, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly using your hands.
Remember the frying pan we browned the lamb racks in? Heat it again, over medium high heat. You only need about 1 tablespoon of oil, tip the rest out if you have too much.
Fry the stuffing for about 3 minutes, stirring to ensure everything heats evenly. Leave aside until needed.
Assembling the Crown
Preheat the oven to 200˚C (390˚F).
Thread your butcher's needle. Keep the kitchen string ready and scissors at hand.
Take a sharp knife and cut little slits on the lower end of the lamb racks between each chop, on the meat side, not the fat side. The meat side will be on the outside and the slits allow the racks to bend and form a crown.
Stand the 2 lamb racks on the baking tin you'll be using, with the ends touching each other.
Sew each end of the lamb rack to the one next to it, as in the pictures. Be sure to thread through before thee last chop bone. This will stop the thread from being released when the meat naturally shrinks as it cooks. Do this for all thee ends, shaping the lamb racks into a circle as much as is possible, when you're doing the last 2.
If you are not sewing the base, get your kitchen string and tie along the base of the crown, as tightly as you can. I've done both, to give you an idea. As the lamb cooks, it will shrink somewhat and the string will loosen, so bear this in mind, the tighter, the better.
Tie another string halfway up the bones, to help keep the shape. **Sewing the base creates a better formed and sturdier crown, which means that you can also not bother with the unsightly string.
If you like, you could tie the two end bones of each rack together, this can also help keep the round shape. Only if you are not tying the base.
That's it. Pack the stuffing into the middle of the crown, I like to create a mound with it, but you can leave it flat, if you like.
Depending on the size of your racks, you may have some spare stuffing. Shape them into little balls (ping pong balls size) and add them to the roasting tin 20 minutes from the end. OR, fry up your sprouts with it.
Cover the ends of the bones with a little foil, to stop them burning.
Cooking the Crown
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes for medium, or 45 minutes for well done. Take the foil off the bones 10 minutes before the end of cooking time.
When done, take the crown out of the oven and cover the whole thing with a large piece of foil, then a tea towel, and leave to rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving as described above.