Ipanema. A beach made famous by nostalgic croons by universal musicians and infamous politicians, is home to a local favourite: a thirty year old Uruguayan sandwich. While this perfect meat feast sandwich is incredibly appealing to Rio’s residents, it has garnered respect from the tourist’s as well.
Ipanema has a direct translation to mean “bad, dangerous waters” and while the currents there may hold true, the sexiest beach in Rio De Janeiro/ the world remains one of the safest. If you take the locals lead, that is.
It was here I met with chef Gloria Gonzalez, at her sandwich stand in the well-known Posto 9. Ipanema beach separate by a series of posts, managed into different zones, each with their own unique atmosphere.
Her sandwiches, though, were enough to send my taste buds into their own unique terrain (of fire) and now, with my own recipe, I’ve discovered a way to not only send myself right back to Ipanema Beach to moments with Gloria, but also share the experience with you all:
My Lamb with Chimichurri Crust
- 2 French-trimmed racks of lamb
For the crust:
- Small bunch flat leaf parsley
- Small bunch fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 1 teaspoon capers
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
- Handful dry white breadcrumbs (around 20 grams)
- Sea salt and black pepper
For the potatoes:
- 500g baby new potatoes, halved
- 1 head of garlic, split into cloves
- 150g mini chorizo cooking sausages, skinned and halved lengthways
- Knob of unsalted butter
For the garnish:
- Large bunch asparagus spears, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Combine all of the ingredients for the crust, except the breadcrumbs, in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Set aside 4 tablespoons of the sauce then add the breadcrumbs to the remainder. Drizzle the lamb with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat, add the lamb racks and sear for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Lay the lamb on a roasting tray and pack the crust mixture over the meat. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes then transfer to a warm plate to rest.
Meanwhile, parboil the potatoes in a large pan of salted boiling water for 5 minutes then drain thoroughly. Heat a little olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the potatoes and fry for 5 minutes until golden. Add the butter and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the garlic has started to soften. Add the chorizo and cook for 7 to 8 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and the chorizo is crisp.
Blanch the asparagus in a large pan of salted boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes then drain thoroughly. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and a little olive oil and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Carve the lamb into the cutlets and serve with the potatoes, asparagus and reserved sauce.