Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb
Serves four to six.
2 racks of lamb, about 1-1/4 lb. each, chine bones removed, rib bones frenched, and meat trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
"Frenching" the rack of lamb--exposing the ribs and trimming away all the meat, fat and sinew between the bones--gives it a neater look. Watch our technique for frenching a rack of lamb or ask your butcher to do it for you.
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 475°F. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Combine the garlic, parsley, thyme, and breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Moisten the mixture with enough olive oil to make the mixture hold together.
Heat a large dry skillet over high heat. Put the lamb, meat side down, in the skillet. With tongs, hold the lamb against the skillet for a minute to give it a nice brown crust. Turn the meat to sear it on all sides for a total of 4 minutes. Remove the meat from the skillet and paint the meaty side of the rack with the mustard. Roll the meat in the herb mixture to coat it. Sear and coat the second rack in the same way.
Transfer the racks to a roasting pan just large enough to hold them. Cover the rib bones with strips of foil so they don't burn and roast until medium rare, 20 to 25 minutes (120°F internal temperature). If you want a crispier crust, finish cooking under the broiler for 2 minutes. Let the racks rest for 5 minutes before carving.
Use a carving knife to cut between the rib bones. Arrange the chops on warm serving plates. Serve hot. (The chops will cool quickly, so the best strategy is to carve the racks at the table.)
nutrition information (per serving):
based on three servings;
photo: Martha Holmberg
From Fine Cooking 8
, pp. 44
April 3, 1995