Rack of lamb is best eaten rare to medium, in terms of doneness. Remember that it should rest a bit before carving; this means there will be some carryover cooking after the rack is removed from the oven: the internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees F. Be sure to remove the roast from the oven at 5 degrees F or so lower than the required doneness to compensate. For best results, always use an instant-read thermometer.
- For the Meat:
- One (7 or 8 bone) rack of lamb, trimmed and frenched (1 to 1 1/4 pounds)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh Herb Crust for Lamb (optional; see recipe)
- For the Pan Sauce: (optional)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup lamb, beef, or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Companion recipe: Herb and Breadcrumb Crust for Lamb
FOR THE MEAT:
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Season the rack all over with salt and pepper. Place a heavy 10-inch ovenproof skillet over high heat and film the bottom with the oil. Put the rack in the skillet fat side down and sear for 1 to 2 minutes. Then using tongs, hold the rack with the bones vertical and sear the top meat for 1 to 2 minutes. Finally, sear the bone side for 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the lamb rest for a few minutes, uncovered. (If you don't have an ovenproof skillet, sear the rack in a pan and then transfer it to a small roasting pan or pie plate.) Roast the rack as is or apply a coating now. Cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent charring.
Arrange the rack bone side down in the skillet (or roasting pan). Roast the lamb in the middle of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the degree of doneness you want. Take a temperature reading in the center of the meat after 12 to 15 minutes and remove the meat, or let it cook longer to your taste. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered, before carving between the ribs and serving 3 to 4 chops per person.
FOR THE PAN SAUCE (optional):
Pour off any fat from the skillet or roasting pan, leaving any juices behind. Place the pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for 15 seconds, pour in the wine, raise the heat to high, and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil the wine to reduce it by half. Add the stock and thyme and boil the sauce until it just begins to turn syrupy. Whisk in the mustard until the sauce is smooth. If you'd like a richer sauce with a velvety texture, whisk in the optional butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over the lamb.
TESTING FOR DONENESS:
Use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness.
Blood-rare: 115 to 125 degrees F
Rare: 125 to 130 degrees F
Medium-rare: 130 to 140 degrees F
Medium: 140 to 150 degrees F
Recipes from The Complete Meat Cookbook. Copyright © 1998 by Bruce Aidells and Dennis Kelly.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
701 calories; 40g total fat; 262mg cholesterol; 286mg sodium; 0g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 79g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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