Rack of lamb is a special occasion kind of meat. Most of us aren’t serving it up on our everyday dinner plates. Heck, most of us don’t like to serve up Mary’s little pet at all. I promise though, lamb does not have to be intimidating.
It can be rather scrumptious. Delicious. A meal fit for celebration! It’s actually the dinner that my husband requests every single year for his birthday. This is a man that loves steak, but this is a meal that’s more special than that.
Rack of lamb is a pricy cut, but I think it’s great for beginners. The only piece of equipment that you need to cook it properly is a meat thermometer. If you’re ever going to cook any meat, a meat thermometer is absolutely imperative. You don’t want to overcook this little baby. (And truth be told, you don’t want it to be baa-ing when you serve it either.) Treat the lamb with respect and get the thermometer already.
In all honesty, I must admit that I don’t measure anything for this recipe. You really can’t screw it up (unless you overcook it, but we already went over that.) I sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper. I dumb some panko into a bowl, add a few chopped herbs and adhere it to the dijon. Don’t feel like you need to measure anything either. The measurements are just general guidelines to help you get a feel for the approximate ratio. It all works out in the end.
herb-encrusted rack of lamb
1 cups panko (or bread crumbs)
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ Tbsp chopped mint
1 Tbsp minced rosemary
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 racks of lamb, trimmed of most of the fat (leave a thin layer)
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix the panko and herbs together in a small bowl. Set aside.
After trimming the fat from the lamb, salt and pepper both racks. Heat oil in a heavy skillet on medium heat. Sear the lamb until the exterior is browned a bit, turning once. It should take a few minutes per side.
Remove from the skillet and transfer lamb to a baking dish. Spread dijon mustard onto both sides of lamb. Press herbed panko mixture into the dijon to adhere.
Roast lamb until the internal temperature reaches 130°F for medium rare. (Lamb really is best when on the rare side, but if this is too much for you, cook until about 140°.) Let the lamb rest for 5-10 minutes under foil before cutting.
To cut into chops: use a nice sharp knife. Starting at the long end of the bone, slice downward into the meat.