baked oats green chile chicken enchiladas chow mein bakery-style butter cookies

copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2023 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent

location location location

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!

very zen

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
[print recipe]
from Fine Cooking issue #8 (April/May 1995)

1 rack of lamb (about a pound), frenched
olive oil
herb crust
mustard coating

herb crust
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.

mustard coating
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.

39 nibbles at “location location location”

  1. Rosa says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you are leaving DB’s… Congrats on the 2 years and the workshop!

    Gorgeous rack of lamb!



  2. jo says:

    Jen, sad to see you leave DB as you have been a great inspiration for me! But I am overjoyed with your new venture .. all the best but please do keep blogging! Believe it or not I made a similar rack of lamb which I posted today. Yours is way nicer!

  3. Marisa says:

    Your lamb looks mouthwatering!

  4. Caitlin says:

    Dangit, now I’m missing all the lamb we used to have stashed away in our freezers from our little herd of sheep. These look fantastic! As for the photo workshop – when can I sign up?!! ;)

  5. Marija says:

    I always wandered how bones get burned when I prepare something like this. As, usual, the answer is simple :) Thanks for this!

  6. Susan @ SGCC says:

    Awww! The DBs just won’t be the same without you, Jen! That said, I’d rather nibble on that gorgeous rack of lamb than any old cookie bars.

    Photography Workshop? Did I read that right? Wow! I’m so there!!!

  7. Dragana says:

    As usual, your dishes are restaurant quality – actually BETTER than most! A delicious post!

  8. Ronine says:

    Hilarious that you have had to plan your photography workshop around all the bridezillas :)
    I would definately participate had I been closer to Boulder – or even the US … and had a decent camera … and if I took photography serious… Could I have just come by to eat all the food (you will be photographing food right?!)?

  9. Annie says:

    I’m SO extremely excited about the prospect of this photography workshop. I am saving some vacation days just for this. Can’t wait to get the details! I’ve only been to Boulder once before, but absolutely loved it!

  10. Thyme says:

    Looks beautiful! I’m not much of a red meat eater normally, but I have recently started making the exception for lamb. Can’t wait to try this!

  11. Janet says:

    This looks great! Lamb has become our “company meat.” It’s local, and it makes a great impression on visitors to Boulder. Lots of people think they don’t like lamb because they’ve had it poorly prepared. I love making converts.

    I wrote down the dates for the workshop! Can’t wait to get more details. The space is perfect.

  12. Phoo-D says:

    I’ve made a very similar recipe before and it is indeed a showstopper. Gorgeous photos and flavors! Excited that you secured the location and dates – Boulder is within striking distance for me so I hope to be there!

  13. BNDQ8 says:

    the lamb looks super delicious!! nice recipe and love the way u have illustrated the preparation!! :)

  14. Rose says:

    Mmmm love rack of lamb! It’s just one of those dishes that looks elegant, isn’t an overwhelming amount of meat and is always pleasantly balanced by an array of vegetables. Your workshop space looks STUNNING! We’re taking time off to do a photo-hiking trip in Yosemite but your workshop sounds awesome!

  15. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I know the workshop is going to be awesome! Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

    And that lamb looks mouth-watering!

  16. Lindsay says:

    The lamb looks awesome! So exciting to hear that some of my favorite food bloggers are holding a food photography workshop! I am definitely working on a way to get to Boulder. When will we hear more about signing up?

  17. Tartelette says:

    I’m so stoked about doing this workshop with you, Todd and Diane…SO STOKED!! Now I officially have the right to say “it’s going to be bad ass” at the house…HA!

    This looks like my definition of Sunday dinners at my grandparents. So so good. And so very hungry now :)

  18. Annie says:

    This recipe looks so delicious – can’t wait to try it out.

  19. Memoria says:

    Aww, I was looking forward to seeing what you made for the DB challenge. I’m really sad to see you go. Good luck with the workshop!

  20. Anna says:

    Yum! That lamb looks gorgeous. I need to plan a dinner party to try it out right away :D

  21. Michaela @ Fine Cooking says:

    Wow, that lamb looks incredible–love your pics too! Good luck w/ the workshop:)

  22. jennywenny says:

    It looks beautiful, I’m hoping that my husband will want to come, we like to take photos and that we want to get better, I’ll bring up the idea with him and see what he says!

    Sorry to see you go from the DB’s. I’m getting a bit jaded myself, hopefully I can stick it out a little bit longer, we’ll see.

  23. Georgia.Pellegrini says:

    Rack of Lamb is undoubtedly the most elegant meat. Your herbed crust seems like the perfect compliment to the tender meat.

  24. Manisha says:

    The location is teh awesome!

    And does this mean you eat lamb now? Yay! Yay! Yay!

  25. Mrs Ergül says:

    I am sad to see you leave the DBs….. You have been such an inspiration Jen. And I definitely check out your baked goods whenever in doubt of others.

    The workshop will be such a success. I am very sure!

    I have been wanting to make lamb. Can you tell us how you prepare the roasted vegetables?

  26. Manggy says:

    I think it looks fabulous but then again… and don’t hate me… I like things medium. I know! I’m a Philistine. I also wouldn’t mind some darkened ribs (bones). Hm, maybe I just like heat, eh? I couldn’t ever make a lamb roast, though, as only my brother and I eat lamb at home :( Filipinos just aren’t used to it.
    I don’t know how you could ever take a bad picture of (/in) that venue- it looks beautiful.

  27. kate says:

    great place and great recipe, love the color of the baked meat

  28. Dani H says:

    I love lamb and this is such an elegant presentation. Wish I could travel to make it to your photography workshop. You all have such stunning photographs on your sites. Thanks for another wonderful recipe. It sounds perfect for Valentine’s Day.

  29. Eat. Travel. Eat! says:

    What a nice location! Sunny, bright, and pretty. The lamb looks great :). Haven’t tried lamb with a crust with breadcrumbs though, so I am quite interested.

  30. hilal says:

    delicious !

  31. Erin says:

    Yum! That looks fantastic, Jen. I thought I hated lamb until a date once got me to eat a lamb burger. And it was amazing. Now it’s my favorite and every time I go home, I hope my dad’s making it.

  32. jackie says:

    i am filled with sadness that your workshop is scheduled less than 2 weeks from my due date. i was really contemplating coming out there with a good friend (who used to work with your husband, btw, when she was at uc boulder in the astro dept.) for it, but i know they won’t let me travel that far that close to d-day. here’s hoping it does remarkably well and becomes an annual tradition so i can make it for part deux.

  33. Ruth Ann says:

    That lamb looks so delicious. My mouth is watering just looking at your pictures.

  34. Melissa says:

    What a fabulous venue. Wish I could come.

    This really is exactly – and I mean exactly, um, minus the parsley – how I make rack of lamb and it has been so long. I have it on the menu for this Thursday thanks to seeing it on your Facebook. Looks even better up close and I can’t wait.

  35. Broderick @ Savory Exposure says:

    That looks so amazingly delicious! That venue looks great, I’m sure you’ll all have a great time and share some of the workshop on the blog :)

  36. jenyu says:

    Thanks DBs for the sweet comments. I will certainly miss you all too, but I have many of my favorite DBs in my reader feed :)

    Jo – your rack of lamb looks awesome!

    Caitlin – I certainly hope you will sign up :)

    Susan – yes! a workshop! Hope to see you in Boulder in June.

    Dragana – you’re just too sweet. Thanks!

    Ronine – ha, I have a feeling that the food we’re shooting might get a little tired ;) Probably best NOT to eat it!

    Annie – awesome! I’ll post on urb, twitter, and facebook when the registration is ready and online (it’ll be a while – at least a few more weeks)

    Janet – great! looking forward to seeing you.

    Phoo-D – yay!!!

    TKW – you’re a sweetie. Thanks :)

    Lindsay – give me a few weeks. I’m still trying to contact sponsors and I have to build the website in addition to everything else I have going on :)

    Tartelette – DUDE, we are gonna have so much fun! I can’t wait to get you here.

    Memorie – thank you!

    jennywenny – oh, I know what you mean ;) It was a love-hate relationship with the DBs, but I have made a lot of great friends through the DBs.

    Manisha – yes! :)

    Mrs. E – yes sweetie, I will post the roasted cauliflower eventually. The roasted asparagus is already in the archives though, so you can check it out there.

    Manggy – maybe that’s the trick? To have the proper venue (oh yeah, just go and purchase an art gallery for yourself…) ha ha ha!

    Dani H – I was thinking the same thing for V-Day too, except I’ll be shooting cupcakes ;)

    Erin – maybe we should have you up for some rack of lamb sometime? I can’t eat a lot of it, but I do like it!

    Jackie – oh dear, well I think it’s safe to say that your little bundle of joy is far far far more important than a little old workshop. who knows, if it’s a success, then perhaps you can join us again next year?

    Melissa – girl! you make some GREAT food :)

    Broderick – you bet. Maybe you could sneak over in Tami’s luggage? :)

  37. Happy Valentine’s Day! « Lava Lake says:

    […] Mustard and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb […]

  38. Gem says:

    Awesome recipe. Absolutely love it :)
    Here’s another recipe you might like.
    Thanks for sharing.

  39. June says:

    I made this for my parents tonight and it was so delicious! I added a little grated pecorino to the crumb and served it with smashed potatoes and steamed greens. Bit hit in our house!

leave a reply