A word of caution: Today’s post may not be suitable for those who cringe at the sight of meat or those who have drooling tendencies from reading about delectable lamb dishes- extreme salivating has been a reported symptom of posts like this one. You have been warned! 🙂
Sorry I couldn’t resist the intro! Lamb is one of those meats that is kind of a treat in our household i.e. we probably have lamb once a month or even less than that. It’s mostly because I’m cautious about how much red meat I eat and honestly it’s more enjoyable that way because it’s something we save for the occasional splurge. I don’t know why but when I eat lamb- I feel fancy. I’m serious! Doesn’t a plate of lamb chops or lamb lollipops just scream “fancy” to you? I would feel guilty eating lamb chops on the couch by our coffee table like a slob a.k.a. a regular dinner night at the Mehtas. If we have lamb I make sure we sit at the dining table, get the nice plates out, place mats… the works.
Lamb is great because there isn’t a ton of prep involved and I almost never marinate. The recipes I use for lamb always involve a glaze or sauce which essentially removes the need for marination. Today’s recipe, originally by Ina Garten, is one I’ve been making for years! It was actually my first recipe with a lamb rack and it was so good that other recipes I tried after just fell a little flat compared to it. But I have to be candid here- my husband and I are HUGE mustard fans which is likely why this one topped other recipes. If you ever find yourself wanting to make a meal for a special occasion, you’ve got to try this out. The prep work is only about 10 minutes and there is an hour of resting/marinating time for this as a heads up. But don’t let the hour of resting/marinating deter you because I used that time to make the sides to go along with this. Another heads up- I usually prefer cooking most meats on the verge of well-done. I’m just not a fan of rare/medium, so the photos will reflect that as well. Just follow the roasting time listed in the recipe for your preferred level of doneness. Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
- 1 rack of lamb, frenched & fat trimmed
- 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 3/4 of a Tbsp of salt (a little over a 1/2 Tbsp is good)
- Process the salt, rosemary and garlic until they are finely minced in a food processor
- Add the mustard and balsamic vinegar and process for a minute. Use a spoon to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed into a paste.
- Place the lamb rack curved up in a roasting pan (so the rack edges are point up) and using a brush, lightly brush the meat facing up with 1/4 of the mustard mixture. Lightly brush the sides/edges as well.
- Take the rack and flip it over so the rack is now curved down and coat the top of the meat with the remaining mustard mixture (thick coat). Let this rack rest at room temperature for 1 hour**
- About 15 minutes before the hour is up, pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the rack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes for rare, 25 minutes for medium rare or 35 minutes for medium well-done.
- Take the rack out after the time is up, cover with foil so you trap some of the residual heat and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Using a knife cut the rack into individual chops and serve.
- ** Don't leave the rack in hot temperatures or for longer than an hour as bacteria will grow in the right conditions. If it's hot where you are, just leave it in the fridge after coating with the mustard and adjust the baking time.