Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb
I love lamb. Rack of lamb is an expensive cut, but well worth it for a special occasion or just when you want to pamper yourself. As with all meats, look for the sales and freeze until ready to use. Where I shop, racks come well trimmed and need only to be frenched. Frenching means to clean the meat or fat along the bones on the rib ends. If you can purchase lamb rib roasts, they will most certainly be less expensive and you can remove the backbone, trim, discard the fat and save the meat trimmings and backbone for flavoring in tomato sauce, soups or stews. A single rack is usually about 1-1/2 pounds which serves two. However, you can easily double this recipe. Either way, this recipe is quick, easy, elegant and absolutely delicious.
- One rack of lamb, about 1-1/2 pounds or 6 ribs, backbone removed, trimmed and frenched
- Dijon mustard, about 2 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, or 2 teaspoons fresh
- Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Olive oil
- 1 cup dry red wine
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spread mustard on top and bottom of lamb. Season with rosemary, salt and pepper; pat gently to adhere to mustard. Mix together the breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley. Pat firmly onto rubbed sides of lamb.
Heat olive oil, enough to lightly cover bottom of an ovenproof skillet large enough to hold lamb, over medium-high to high heat. Place lamb in pan and quickly brown on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Place pan in oven and roast for about 20 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 135° for medium-rare. (If you prefer your lamb medium, 145°, add about 5 more minutes.) Remove from pan; tent with foil to keep warm.
Place skillet over medium-high heat. Add the wine and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes, scraping up any browned bits. (If desired, add about 2 tablespoons butter to sauce to thicken more; stir briskly until melted.) Slice roast, cutting through middle of ribs. Arrange 2 or 3 ribs on individual serving plates; pour a little sauce over ribs and the remaining around the ribs. Serve immediately.