My brother-in-law came and visited us this past weekend, and this recipe is really in honor of him!
I made him my traditional rack of lamb a few years ago when we first met, and he went crazy for it. So, like a good sister-in-law ;-), I am sure to make it for him anytime he comes and visits. Here is the recipe for my traditional rack of lamb (which will be one of many different racks of lamb that I do)!
This is such a great entertaining recipe that will impress your loved ones or friends. Trust me on this one, just give it a shot, and you’ll feel like a celebrity chef 20-25 minutes later :).
Other variations on this recipe that I will post in the near future are: Pistachio-crusted rack of lamb, coffee-crusted rack of lamb, and last but not least, Indian-style yogurt marinated rack of lamb.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (I just use the store-bought jar of minced garlic to cut my prep time, but if you have the time, there is nothing like fresh produce and herbs!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (you can use dried rosemary, but the fresh rosemary adds a lot of additional flavor!)
2-3 tablespoons of good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2-3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (squeeze half of a lemon)
1 tablespoon of lemon zest (or the zest of half a lemon)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 rack of lamb, trimmed
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (preferably the kind with the little mustard seeds in it, but the smooth mustard is also great!)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Move oven rack to the center position.
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, brown sugar. Set aside.
Season the rack on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Cover an oven-safe sheet pan with aluminum foil and set aside the seared rack of lamb on it. Let it cool for a few minutes.
Brush rack of lamb with the mustard. Now spread your marinade on top of the rack making sure all of the rack gets covered with it. Don’t worry if some of it falls off onto the pan just make sure the marinade stays underneath the rack so the flavor is absorbed by the meat and not your oven! Wrap the ends of the bones that have no meat on them with a smaller piece of aluminum foil to prevent charring and burnt bones (super important!).
Before putting the rack of lamb in the pre-heated oven, make sure the rack is bone side down. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes (I usually cook mine 12-13 minutes for medium rare), depending on the degree of doneness you want. With a meat thermometer (all meat-lovers should own one!), take a reading in the center of the meat after 10 to 12 minutes and remove the meat, or let it cook longer, to your taste. I personally prefer my lamb medium-rare to medium, which means the middle part of the rack should read anywhere between 127-140 degrees F).
Regardless of how well you like your rack of lamb, let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered with a new sheet of aluminum foil, before carving between the ribs.
Have a bite, and if you prefer more salt on your ribs, feel free to sprinkle on a bit of Kosher salt for added flavor! I don’t like my meat under-seasoned, especially lamb because of the game-y nature of the meat.
Note: This resting period is so crucial to eating tender and juicy meat, as it allows all the juices of the meat to remain inside instead of pouring out when you cut it too early. (If you want to get super technical about it, read this post on SeriousEats that takes the idea of ‘resting meats’ to a whole new level!)
WINE PAIRING: This lamb dish has such a richness to it, you want to pair it with a full-bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.