Roasted Rack of Lamb

by Lana Stuart on April 5, 2013 · 13 comments

Roasted Rack of Lamb

When I was growing up, lamb was something that we just didn’t eat. Nobody raised sheep and it was nowhere to be found in the grocery stores. I imagine that you would have had to go to a big city back then to buy fresh lamb. Of course, we had beef, pork, chicken, game, and all sorts of fish, but lamb…nope. It was very rare.

Although, now that I think about it, I do remember mama roasting a leg of lamb – or maybe mutton – one time. I need to remember to ask her where she got that because I know for a fact it couldn’t have been at the local Piggly Wiggly. Or the IGA either. Wow…things that make you go “hmmmm.”

You know, a large percentage of the lamb sold in the U. S. comes from New Zealand. And a few years ago they had a problem with lamb production in that country. That’s when the price went through the roof. Thank goodness it’s starting to come down. Because of the high price, I haven’t made a rack of lamb for some time. Prices around here have been $17.99 a pound, but when I recently saw some for $12.99, I went ahead and grabbed two racks and brought them home. Still expensive, but I’ll pay that for an occasional indulgence.

Don’t let rack of lamb intimidate you. It’s really simple. For this recipe, all that you’re doing is creating a crumb coating, browning the lamb, brushing it with Dijon mustard, slapping the coating on and finishing the cooking in the oven. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

To start, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Making bread crumbs for Roasted Rack of Lamb

Prepare the fresh bread crumbs using whatever leftover bread you have on hand. I happened to have part of a whole grain baguette that was slowly turning into a baseball bat. Just pop your bread into a food processor and let it work until you have fresh bread crumbs.

Bread crumb mixture for Roasted Rack of Lamb

Mix together the bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Stir with a fork until everything is nicely distributed and well coated with the oil. Put the mixture into a shallow pan to make applying it to the racks easier.

Seasoning racks of lamb

Remove the racks from their packaging and wipe them dry with paper towels. Season the racks of lamb on both sides with salt and pepper.

Searing rack of lamb

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the racks on all sides, including the ends, until they are a light golden brown. Remove the racks from the pan and let them rest and cool for 5 or 6 minutes.

Brush racks with Dijon mustard

When the racks have cooled enough to handle, brush each on all sides with the Dijon mustard. Use a really good Dijon mustard since its flavor is prominent in the recipe. My all time favorite? Maille.

Crumb coated rack of lamb

Roll the racks in the crumb mixture until evenly coated. Pat the mixture onto each rack so that it adheres well.  Wipe out the skillet – no need to wash it – and arrange the racks, bone side down, back in the skillet.

Cover the bone ends with foil

Cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent burning. Drizzle a little additional olive oil over the coating if you like. Roast the lamb in the preheated oven for 12-20 minutes. Using an instant read meat thermometer, begin checking by taking a reading in the center of the meat after 12 minutes. Cook to desired degree of doneness. Medium rare is 140 to 150 degrees. Medium is 160 degrees. Most people agree that lamb is best not cooked beyond medium. I say cook it however you like :-)

Remove the racks from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes before carving. Cut between each rib to cut the rack into chops for serving.

Enjoy!

Roasted Rack of Lamb

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Roasted Rack of Lamb

Roasted racks of lamb coated with a bread crumb, garlic, rosemary, and olive oil mixture.

Ingredients

    For the crumb coating:
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tblsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 tblsp. olive oil
  • Two 7 or 8-bone frenched racks of lamb
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 tblsp. olive oil
  • 2 tblsp. Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oven rack should be in center of oven.
  2. In a shallow pan, combine the bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss to mix well.
  3. Season the racks of lamb on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the racks for several minutes on each side or until golden brown all over. Allow to rest and cool for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Brush each rack with the Dijon mustard and roll in the crumb mixture until evenly coated. Pat the mixture onto each rack so that it adheres well.
  5. Wipe out the skillet. Arrange the racks, bone side down, back in the skillet and cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent burning. Roast the lamb in the preheated oven for 12-20 minutes. Using an instant read meat thermometer, begin checking by taking a reading in the center of the meat after 12 minutes. Cook to desired degree of doneness. Medium rare is 140 to 150 degrees. Medium is 160 degrees. Lamb is best not cooked beyond medium.
  6. Remove the racks from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes before carving into chops between each rib.

Notes

Adapted from a recipe found on allrecipes.com

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http://www.lanascooking.com/2013/04/05/roasted-rack-of-lamb/

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nancy@acommunaltable April 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Ooooh…. I love lamb! Growing up, my best friend was armenian and her dad made the BEST shish kebab – absolutely love making rack of lamb for parties – soooo easy and sooooo good!

Reply

2 Lana April 5, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Do you know I’ve never made shish kebab. And I agree, rack of lamb is a fantastic party recipe. Easy and always goes over great!

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3 Neena April 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Yes, I did roast a leg of lamb one Easter. After that experience I have not tried anything else with lamb. I thought it would be nice to have a special Easter dinner with lamb and mint jelly. Well—-to say the least this Southern cook did not know what she was doing. That lamb smelled so bad we had to leave home. Ugh. Don’t know where I bought it but it wasn’t in our home town.

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4 Lana April 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I knew I remembered that! I wasn’t going to tell about how bad it smelled, but I remember it to this day :-)

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5 LindySez April 5, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Mutton and lamb are NOT the same at all…so if you had mutton, then I could understand you never wanting to have “lamb” again. Here in Sonoma county we have the best, sweetest lamb, especially spring lamb. When I buy New Zealand Lamb I love to cook it long and slow in wine and rosemary…tender…tasty.

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6 Lana April 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Yes, you’re correct. Lamb is under one year of age. Mutton is older and has a much stronger taste and smell.

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7 Diane {Created by Diane} April 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm

My husband would most likely LOVE me more if I made him this, it looks great!

Reply

8 Clint April 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

I’m not a huge lamb fan myself (also didn’t grow up with it, and never developed a taste for it), but my adopted state of Colorado is a great source for lamb. (( http://www.denverpost.com/food/ci_5682099 )) Lots of ways to order it online too!

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9 Lana April 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Good to know about that source. Thanks, Clint.

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10 Sues April 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I do love lamb, but admit that rack of lamb intimidates me a bit. You make it look easy… and delicious!

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11 Lana April 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm

It is really easy, Sues. Give it a try and I’m sure you’ll agree!

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12 Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles April 11, 2013 at 10:54 am

Absolutely gorgeous!!!

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13 Lana April 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Thank you!

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