Sunday, February 3, 2008

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

This is easy, simple and stunning: as attractive to the palate as it is to the eye. Ask for French cut racks of lamb, you want to get a good piece of loin with a backing of fat (not too thick, now) and the bones sticking up, three or at the very most four bones per person. I like to make the coating with fresh breadcrumbs rendered down in a whizzer, incidentally. The baking dries them out nicely and crisps them up into a delicious crust on the lamb.

Get the butcher to sling a few more lamb bones your way and roast these off in a hot oven (230C/450F/GM8) for about 20 minutes with some olive oil, garlic, onion and herbs. Take this out of the oven and wash it out with about 500ml of water, tipping the lot into a pan, bones and all along with a good squeeze of tomato puree (or a small tin, if you prefer) and some dry white wine, then cook this to reduce, then season (and thicken, if you like, with the addition of a wee bit of beurre maniƩ
– a teaspoon of flour mixed into a teaspoon of butter). That’s yer gravy done!

You might like to roast a selection of vegetables in a little oil alongside the lamb.

This recipe needs to be made using fresh herbs. If you use dried then a large and unpleasant monster will leap out of the kitchen drawer and tear your head off.


  • Four racks of lamb
  • 120 gms fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Heat the oven to 220C/435F/GM 7. Mix together the breadcrumbs and herbs. Put a glug of oil in a roomy pan and then, over a high heat, sear the racks of lamb to seal them all over. Remove them from the pan. Put a few good glugs of oil in an oven tray and add the chopped onion, swishing it around to coat it. A few cloves of garlic, unpeeled, can also go in at this stage.

Coat the backs of the lamb racks (the fatty bit) with the Dijon mustard, pressing the breadcrumb mixture into this. Place them on top of the onions in the baking tray and give everything a good sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and then bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on how you like your lamb.

No comments: