Rack of Lamb with Black-Eyed Peas & Yuca Cakes

Chef Pierre Thiam
Chef Pierre Thiam

Rack of lamb is probably the easiest part of the lamb to cook. The challenge is to not overcook it. These chops are marinated with Dijon mustard, rosemary, and thyme, which are classic herbs for lamb. They are served with Ndambe, crisp cakes of yuca, black-eyed peas, and tomato with a moyo sauce that hails from the Benin-Togo region and is similar to salsa.

Interesting cuisine comes out of poverty. Ndambe is considered the poor man’s food, made with black-eyed peas and either yuca or sweet potatoes in a tomato broth and served with a baguette. They go well with the moyo sauce recipe.

This recipe is used with permission from Chef Pierre Thiam. Find more of his recipes in his book Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl and on his website.

You can also buy rack of lamb online here at Shepherd Song Farm, where all of our lamb and goats are 100% grass fed.

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

Roasted Rack of Lamb Recipe
Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb with Black-Eyed Peas & Yuca Cakes

A simple rack of lamb with crispy black eyed peas and yuca cakes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Lamb, Rack



  • Lamb Racks
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Ndambe Cakes for serving (recipe follows)
  • Sauce Moyo for serving (recipe follows)


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F with a oven rack in the center position.
  • Season racks with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl combine the garlic, mustard, rosemary, thyme, parsley and olive oil. Coat the meat with the herb mixture pressing well.
  • Transfer the racks to a roasting pan, curved side up, and roast for about 15 minutes. Loosely cover the racks with aluminum foil and roast for another 5 minutes for medium rare, or 10 minutes for medium.
  • Let the racks rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes. Cut each rack into double chops or individual choops. Serve with the ndambe cakes and moyo sauce.

Ndambe Cakes (crispy black-eyed peas & yuca cakes)

Crispy cakes of black eyed peas and yuca
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Cooling time1 hour
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Ndambe
Servings: 6


  • 1 pound yuca peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup red palm oil or vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the yuca in a pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the yuca is tender 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well and let cool until it is easy to handle. Remove and discard the string-like fibrous core. Cut the yuca into 1-inch cubes.
  • While the yuca is cooking heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until soft. Add the tomato paste and stock and cook until the liquid is reduced by almost half.
  • Add the cooked yuca, black-eyed peas and parsley and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Combine well and continue cooking stirring from time to time until it forms a chunky mass. Adjust the seasoning and let cool until it is easy to handle.
  • Shape by hand into 6 thick cakes about 3 inches wide or use ring molds. Place the cakes on a plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour until they firm up.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a nonstick frying pan heat the palm oil over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary fry the cakes until golden brown and crisp for a few minutes on each side. Place the cakes on a baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven until the center is hot, about 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot

Ndambe Cakes
Ndambe Cakes — Black eye peas and yuca

Sauce Moyo


  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parslely
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 cups seeded chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Let sit for an hour for the flavors to develop.