Herb crusted rack of lamb served on a bed of Ratatouille
This is one of those recipes saved for special occasions, like a birthday, anniversary or a plain old celebration. Lamb is so rich in flavour and tenderness, you will be blown away by how this cut of meat just melts in your mouth. Serve this lamb on a bed of ratatouille; the fresh veggies pair incredibly with the richness of the lamb, and it looks beautiful! it is exceptionally delicious and fairly simple to throw together. Rack of lamb takes as little as 20 minutes to cook, so incorporate some exciting side dishes and salads to bring this meal to the next level.
When purchasing lamb, you do not what to cut corners. This lamb will be the “piece de resistance” ie the centerpiece to your table and you want it to be perfect! Talk to your local butcher, or the person at the meat counter at the grocery store, and ask for a Rack of Lamb. Typically the lamb will still have some meat or film on the exposed bones, ask your butcher to “French Trim” the bones, this will make them look beautiful when cooked. This is a bit of work on their end, so maybe bring your friendly butcher a coffee before you ask him to take on this task!
How much will Lamb cost you?
As for the price, Lamb is relatively expensive, and I tend to estimate 3 ribs per person, a rack usually has 8 ribs. So for four people, you would need 2 racks, then you have a little extra for leftovers. Now a rack of lamb tends to be between 30-40$, however if you have a costco membership (or know someone who has a costco membership) it can cost as little as 25$.
Importance of Temperature
Serve your lamb medium-rare to medium.The lamb rack is extremely tender cut and if it is cooked more than medium it can become chewy.
For medium-rare, you want your rack of lamb to reach an internal temperature of 135 °F, and for medium 145°F. However, when you remove your lamb from the oven and rest it, it continues to cook up to 4 degrees. So remove the lamb from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 131°F for medium-rare and 141°F for medium. Using a thermometer takes the guessing out of cooking, and allows your to relax and not stress about serving a delicious mealS
- Do not be afraid of high heat! You need to give your rack of lamb a good sear on all sides before transferring it to the oven. This also is the base of your glaze, so don’t be stingy! Lastly when searing your meat, give the meat a little wiggle before flipping it over. If it is stuck to the bottom of the pan, leave it for another minute or so. Once the piece of meat comes away easily from the pan, you know you have a good sear on it.
- Use a thermometer! I can’t tell you enough how useful a meat thermometer is, they’re inexpensive and is worth it as you won’t waste the money you already spent on the lamb because you overcooked it.
Here's What You're Gonna Do
The first thing I learnt in culinary school was the imprortance of a “Mise en Place”, which is a nice way of saying “Get your sh*t together”. Measure, cut and get all the necessary pans and equipment ready. Now you’re ready to start cooking.
Using a handy food processor (or handy knife skills) finely chop parsley and bread crumbs and place on a plate or a cutting board spread out.
In an oven-safe pan, heat oil on high and sear the rack of lamb. Searing is a crucial part in this recipe and this will deepen the flavour of the sauce. Once all sides are seared brush with mustard then coat with parsley.
Now that your lamb is ready to go, bake it in the oven for 15 minutes. Once the 15 minutes are up, check the temperature of the lamb and remove it from pan. Cover with tin foil and set aside.
While your meat is resting, combine the balsamic sauce ingredients.
Once your meat has fully reseted, using a sharp chefs knife, cut in between the bones, serve 2-3 ribs per person.
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
- Oven Safe Pan
- 2 Racks of Lamb
- 2 tbsp Oil Vegetable, Canola, Avocado
- 1 cup Parsley
- 1 cup Bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Dijon
- 2 tsp Salt & Pepper
- 1 Small Shallot
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tbsp Butter
- Preheat oven to 450 °F
- In a food processor (or with handy knife skills), mince the parsley. Once finely chopped, combine with bread crumbs on a flat plate.
- In a large saucepan, heat oil on high heat. Add the racks of lamb and get a nice sear on each side. 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
- Once all sides are seared, remove from pan and brush the tops of the rack (not the bone side) with the mustard, then press the rack into the parsley and crumb mixture. Return to pan, crumb side facing up and ribs facing down.
- Place in oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and check doneness with thermometer. Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes. (see pro tip for doneness)
- While rack of lamb is resting, mince shallot and garlic.
- On medium heat, using the same pan as the lamb, add butter to pan and sweat garlic and onion, 3-5 minutes scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add balsamic and bring sauce to a simmer for 2 minutes.
- Slice lamb, serving 2-3 ribs per person. Drizzle a little sauce on each rib, serve hot!
- Temperature; serve your lamb medium-rare to medium.The lamb rack is extremely tender cut and if it is cooked more than medium it can become chewy. For medium-rare, you want your rack of lamb to reach an internal temperature of 135 °F, and for medium 145°F. However, when you remove your lamb from the oven and rest it, it continues to cook up to 4 degrees. So remove the lamb from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 131°F for medium-rare and 141°F for medium. Using a thermometer takes the guessing out of cooking, and allows your to relax and not stress about serving a delicious meal!