Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
April 8, 2019 • Meat & Poultry
It’s that time of year, and whether you are going to celebrate Passover, Easter, or the arrival of spring, lamb is a good option (although depending on your religious beliefs, there might be some rules). I don’t know that I celebrate any season with more enthusiasm than the arrival of spring. The days are finally longer than the nights, the temperatures are rising, the rebirth of nature all around is uplifting. One of the reasons I like to buy meat directly from Colorado farmers and ranchers is that when you do, you specify how you want the animal butchered. In years past I seemed to have too many random lamb chops in the freezer, so this past year as I asked them to French one of the racks, knowing it would be perfect for a special dinner. And in case you’re nervous about how to roast something expensive like this, trust me, it couldn’t be easier.Make sure the meat is brought to room temperature before you begin to roast it – about 45 minutes should do it. Then start your roasting with 15 mins on a very high temperature (425 to 450 is great) before reducing to 300. Cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the end (in the middle of the meaty portion, not touching the bone) reaches about 125 degrees. That’s medium rare but with carry over cooking it will reach 130 or more as it rests, so more of a medium finish, and will take about 5-15 minutes after you have reduced the heat, depending on the size of your rack. (If you are health compromised or just prefer your meat more well done, then cook it longer.)I used a simple herb based crust – garlic, parsley, Dijon mustard, bread crumbs, olive oil, salt and pepper – made into a very thick paste in the food processor. You can use any herb you like instead of parsley which is just what I had on hand – try tarragon, rosemary, or mint. Remember to always rest your meat before slicing, and serve a portion of about 2-4 ribs, depending on how meaty the rack is, per person.
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- ½ bunch parsley
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 rack of lamb (8 ribs, about 1½ to 2 pounds)
- Place garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Add the parsley, bread crumbs, mustard, salt, and pepper and pulse until chopped. With the bad running, slowly add olive oil just until the mixture comes together in a very thick paste.
- Place the rack of lamb on a roasting pan, fat cap up, and rub the herb mixture all over the top of the rack. Roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees and roast until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (for medium rare), about 5-10 minutes Let meat rest before slicing. Serve 2-3 ribs per person depending on how meaty they are.
I’m leaving in two days for Porto, Portugal where my friend and I will begin our adventure to hike a portion of the Camino Portugese into Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It’s a very personal pilgrimage for us, to celebrate our mutual 60th birthdays (hers last fall, mine this fall), with a few days in Madrid afterwards to visit the friends I made during the very difficult time that my husband was hospitalized there in the fall of 2016. I’ve never written about Madrid because of the tragedy I endured, but will share my love of that city and the people there – something I consider one of the many gifts of grief I received – when I return in May. Happy Spring!