There are few meals more impressive than a classic rack of lamb. After all, it is one of the priciest cuts of meat, often presented during special occasions. On your next anniversary, take the time to prepare this rack of lamb recipe, and make it a celebration to remember.
Tips Before You Begin
- You absolutely must use a meat thermometer. This is the most reliable way to ensure your rack of lamb recipe comes out at the appropriate stage of doneness. Rack of lamb is never to be cooked beyond medium rare.
- When you buy a rack of lamb, make sure it’s already been “frenched.” This means that the meat has been trimmed away from the bone, exposing enough of each individual rib to give it the appearance characteristic of a rack of lamb.
- It’s worth it to invest in a roasting pan with a wire rack inside. Elevating the lamb this way leads to more even cooking.
- Some recipes have you start the lamb on high heat in the oven, turning it down part way through. For this rack of lamb recipe, we’re going to brown it in a skillet on the stove. Many chefs believe that browning on the stove and only using the oven for lower-heat roasting keep your rack tender.
Classic Rack of Lamb Recipe
Start with a teaspoon of salt, two teaspoons of rosemary, and three finely minced cloves of garlic. These will make up our rub, and all can be ground down in a food processor to make them finer and easier to distribute across the entire cut.
Using clean hands, coat the lamb in a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then sprinkle the garlic and herbs on and rub them all over.
Let this marinate for approximately 20 minutes. When time is beginning to run out, heat another teaspoon or two of olive oil in a large stovetop skillet on medium high. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brown your seasoned rack of lamb for approximately five minutes on each side. Carefully transfer to the wire rack inside of the roasting pan, and pop it in the oven. Let it cook for 20 minutes, checking to make sure the temperature doesn’t exceed 145 degrees – the ideal temp for medium-rare lamb.
Once it’s done, remove it from the oven, cover the pan, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before plating.
Best Companions to Rack of Lamb
It’s typically recommended that you keep it light alongside this tender, savory cut of meat. Spring vegetables are a common companion to any rack of lamb recipe, particularly those using carrots.
Lamb is young, and as such, often served with young vegetables. Complementary starches typically include baby potatoes, roasted with additional rosemary. Spring greens with a citrusy dressing are an excellent choice, as are alliums like leeks.
Red wines are often considered most appropriate for lamb. You will commonly see pinot noir, cabernet, syrah, and zinfandel served with a rack of lamb. In fine restaurants, the wine will be native to the region, where possible.