Recipe: Perfect Rack Of Lamb
Contributor Lisa Fielding is a private chef and boutique caterer based in Manhattan who weekends in Litchfield County whenever possible. Many of her Manhattan clients are also Litchfield County weekenders, so work brings her to Northwest Connecticut as well. A Los Angeles transplant, Fielding was a former Hollywood film executive who segued into screenwriting several years ago, which enabled her to pursue her passion for food and entertaining. Lisa’s culinary skill set draws from a broad spectrum of dishes and ingredients.
I have a client whose only mandate for every meal in which a beef, chicken or lamb is prepared is that the end result is juicy and tender. Seems like an easy request but when you’re cooking multiple courses for many people with different demands there are times when it is extremely challenging to hit the bullseye. This past weekend I hit the bullseye and was so thrilled with this rack of lamb from the preparation to the presentation that I decided it was worthy of sharing with Rural Intelligence’s readers.
Rack of lamb may seem like a special occasion meal, but it shouldn’t be. It’s so easy to prepare and readily available at most markets. When buying a rack, it is important to note quality, quality, quality. Look for a large rack that will yield a sizable medallion on the plate. Make sure it’s Frenched, which means that the meat, cartilage and fat between the tips of the rib bones has been cleaned down to the chop. This yields a gorgeous rack and makes it easier to carve. When you get the rack home, you also want to trim the layer of “fat back” down to a thin membrane to ensure proper cooking. Now that you’ve got the basics down without further ado, here is the perfect rack of lamb recipe.
Rack Of Lamb
2 (8-rib) Frenched racks of lamb (each rack 1 ½ lbs.), trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
4 tbls. finely chopped fresh mint
3 large garlic cloves minced
2 tsp. salt plus extra for searing lamb
1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper plus extra for searing lamb
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for searing lamb
Liberally salt and pepper racks of lamb set aside. Mix all remaining ingredients set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Douse a large heavy skillet such as cast iron with olive oil to coat bottom evenly (a tablespoon should do). When skillet is hot, place racks fat side down in pan. Do them one at a time if your skillet isn’t large enough to hold both. Sear for three to five minutes until a golden crust forms. Turn rack and sear other side for 2 minutes. Hold racks by the bones and sears the tops of the racks for another minute.
Place in a shallow roasting dish fat side up. Pat bread crumb mixture into an even layer. Place in hot oven and cook for 20 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium rare. If bread crumb mixture starts to brown too much place a sheet of foil over racks.
Remove from oven and allow racks to rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 10 before carving chops between the bones. Plate with bones crisscrossed. I served mine on a bed of mushroom risotto but my favorite is with creamy gruyere potato gratin.