Recipe: rack of lamb
To my dearest Daring Bakers: It’s been over two years since I joined your fine ranks when the DBs were just 80 strong. In that time I’ve learned a lot, baked a lot, SWORE a lot, and made so many friends. But now it’s time for me to leave the DBs. Thank you, especially those of you who kept my spirits up through my chemo in 2008. Most of all, thank you to Lis and Ivonne – my two bodacious baker babes. xoxo
It’s official. We are ON for the photography workshop! I’ve just signed the contract for the venue which is beautiful. People have been asking for the dates and now I can finally tell you: June 28-29, 2010 (Monday-Tuesday). My apologies for anyone hoping for weekend dates. I’m afraid I couldn’t duke it out with all of the bridezillas vying for this sweet downtown Boulder location on weekends in June (wedding season is insanely expensive). Not to mention, Todd, Diane, Helen, and I had a narrow window when we were all four available to hold the workshop. But have a looksee!
heaps of light and a view of the boulder flatirons
it’s going to be fantastic
I fall asleep every night with ideas and plans and todo lists for the workshop floating in my head. All of that brain activity makes a person hungry, you know. There are those recipes that I dive right into and then there are those recipes I mull over for weeks, months, even a year before I attempt them. I suppose I know when I am ready to try a recipe for the blog when I can visualize all of the steps to making it.
herbs, garlic, lemon
bread for fresh breadcrumbs
Rack of lamb is one of my dad’s many culinary specialties. I grew up thinking my dad was allergic to lamb because… because he thought he was allergic to lamb. I finally got the straight story when I visited my parents earlier this month. Dad always got sick when he ate lamb as a kid, so he avoided it and hence our family never ate lamb. Maybe it was a kid allergy, maybe it was the way the lamb was prepared, but my dad is most definitely NOT allergic to lamb today.
tossing the herbed crust mix with olive oil
mixing mustard with herbs and oil
I’ve had lamb at my parents’ house a couple of times now and I like it. What is difficult about reproducing any recipe from my dad is that he never makes the same recipe twice. It’s always changing just a little bit or a lotta bit. I had to delve into my archives from the last century… that would be 1995 – Fine Cooking issue #8.
season the rack of lamb
simple salt and pepper will do
This rack was about 1.3 pounds in weight. I’m so accustomed to larger animals that this seemed particularly delicate to me. I trimmed off the layer of fat along the side (it’s called the deckle) which only made the rack look smaller. Thankfully, this one came frenched (that is, the meat, fat, and sinew on the bones were scraped away to make it neat) because I didn’t want to do that myself this time around.
sear the sides
brush on the mustard
The prep for the rack of lamb was quite similar to that beloved crusted roast except the lamb was way cuter. Dad said to wrap the rib bones in foil otherwise they will turn dark during the roasting which he said looks like “yech!”.
wrapping each rib bone in foil
on a roasting rack
The lamb roasted up beautifully. Ours cooked to medium rare because I forgot that it needed to rest once out of the oven. Jeremy and I prefer our lamb rare, but this was delightful nonetheless. I think the herbed crust is a perfect accompaniment to the meat. A definite show-stopper if you plan to entertain guests for dinner.
carve the rack
fanned over roasted vegetables
Rack of Lamb
from Fine Cooking issue #8 (April/May 1995)
1 rack of lamb (about a pound), frenched
1 large clove garlic, chopped fine
2 tbsps fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsps olive oil
Combine the garlic, parsley, thyme, and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Moisten with olive oil so that it holds together.
2 tbsps Dijon mustard
2 tsps fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
Stir ingredients together in a small bowl.
Prepare the lamb: Heat oven to 475°F. Season the rack of lamb with salt and pepper all over. Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan and sear all sides of the meat (a few minutes per side until browned). Remove the rack from the pan to a plate and brush the mustard mixture over the meat. Roll the meat in the herb crust mixture. It helps to gently press the crust onto those hard to stick spots. Wrap each of the rib bones with a piece of foil to prevent charring of the bones during roasting. Place the lamb on a roasting rack in a baking dish (a roasting pan is too big for these little guys – unless you are roasting multiple racks). Roast in the middle of the oven until the desired temperature is reached (use a meat thermometer or probe). Typically you want the internal temperature to reach 5°-10°F LESS than your target temperature because it will continue to rise when you let the meat rest. Remove the rack from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before carving. Final temperatures for the lamb after a five-minute rest: rare – 115°-125°F, medium rare – 125°-135°F, medium – 140°-145°F. It’s not recommended to let it cook beyond medium. Carve the rack and serve.