Ali's rack of lamb

By Jamie Oliver
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Muhammad Ali’s favourite meal from his personal chef of six years – this recipe is a proper piece of history. Juicy, blushing lamb pairs beautifully with the smokiness of this classic cabbage dish. Soul food at its finest.



  • 1 x 8-bone rack of lamb, French trimmed
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

Collard Greens:

  • 500 grams of mixed greens, such as cavolo nero, chard, spinach
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 oak-smoked free-range chicken leg, optional
  • 500 millilitres of free-range chicken stock, optional (or 250 ml if made without the chicken leg)


  1. Remove all the fat from the lamb – you can do this by hand; simply tear off the sinew and trim with a sharp knife, or ask your butcher to do it for you.
  2. Pick and finely chop the rosemary. Peel and chop the garlic as finely as you can, then add a pinch of sea salt and mince with the back of your knife. Scrape into a bowl, then muddle in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, three tablespoons of oil and a pinch of black pepper.
  3. Rub the marinade all over the lamb (avoiding the bones), then leave to marinate for at least two hours.
  4. To make the collard greens, put the chicken leg (if using) into a large pan with one litre of boiling water and simmer gently for one hour and 30 minutes, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Reserving the broth, remove the chicken leg, leave to cool slightly, then shred the meat, discarding any bones or wobbly bits.
  5. Wash the greens, then shred into rough 2-centimetre pieces, discarding any stalks.
  6. Peel and roughly chop the onion, and peel and finely slice the garlic, then place in a large pan with two tablespoons of oil and the shredded meat (if using). Cook for six minutes, or until softened, stirring regularly.
  7. Add the greens and cook for a further six minutes, or until just wilted – you may need to work in batches. Pour over the stock (or use the equivalent volume of reserved broth), cover and simmer for a final six minutes, then season to perfection.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). 
  9. Place a large ovenproof frying pan over high heat, then sear the lamb for two minutes, or until golden all over, turning regularly. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until blushing pink on the inside and gnarly on the outside.
  10. Rest the lamb for five minutes, then slice into chops and plate up with the collard greens. Delicious served with scalloped potatoes.


Feel free to use a smoked turkey leg instead of chicken, if you’d prefer!

Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories: 546, Fat: 44.7 grams, Saturated fat: 18 grams, Protein: 28.2 grams, Carbohydrates: 8.7 grams, Sugar: 4.1 grams, Salt: 1.1 grams, Fibre: 1.1 grams, Weight of portion: 266.5 grams

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