Rack of Lamb
- • 2 rack of lamb (2 chops per person for a tasting party, 4 chops per person for a regular main course)
- • ½ cup fresh herbs (Italian parsley or mint or a combination of both)
- • 1 clove garlic
- • Zest of one lemon
- • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- • 6 ½-inch slices crusty baguette
- • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- • 1 large shallot, minced (½ cup)
- • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- • 2 cups tightly pressed fresh herbs (Italian parsley, mint, chives, green onion, fresh oregano, etc. Any one or any combination)
- • 2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- • Salt and pepper to taste
- • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place the herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Process until nicely ground.
- • Break bread into small chunks and add. Process until the crumb is the consistency of rice and the herb mixture is nicely incorporated.
- • Set aside.
- Place a cast iron skillet on your gas grill, close the lid and preheat it to get it as hot as you can. Target 400 to 600°.
- Preheat your broiler back in the kitchen to high.
- Trim the excess fat off of the rack of lamb and wrap the bone ends in aluminum foil to protect them from the high heat on the grill.
- Liberally sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper.
- Place an external read thermometer into the center of the lamb.
- Place the lamb meat-side down on the preheated cast iron skillet on the grill.
- Close the lid and cook for 2 to 4 minutes until you get a good sear on the hero side (the one you want to look the best) of the lamb.
- Flip the lamb to bone-side down, close the lid and cook until the instant read thermometer reads 120°.
- I also test doneness by touch. Uncooked meat is really soft. Overcooked meat is hard. I keep touching as it cooks. As the meat starts to firm up, you are moving from rare to medium. The key is practice, practice, practice.
- Pull the lamb out and test the middle of one rack with a knife to make sure it is between rare and medium rare. If it needs a little more, put it back. But be careful not to overcook. Rare is better because you can always cook it a little longer.
- Take the racks off the grill, transfer them to a baking sheet and spread the Dijon mustard all over the lamb meat. Press on the herb mixture, shaking off any excess.
- Place the herb-crusted lamb under the broiler and cook for a few minutes until the crust is golden brown.
- Take the lamb out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- In a sauté pan, sauté shallot under low heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shallot is translucent. Let cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Into a food processor fitted with a steel blade, put shallot, herbs, mustard, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Pulse to incorporate then set aside.
Someone once asked me, “Of the dishes you make, which is your favorite?” Here it is. There is something about a rack of lamb that is just special. With this said, lamb is a polarizing flavor. Some people like it and some don’t. My friend, Lucien, and I once had a dinner party for 20 people. Of the twenty, there were at least five who fell into the category of those that don’t like lamb. Lucien made a rack of lamb that night that had the “haters” fighting over the last few chops. I still have this vision of the group politely positioning themselves around the buffet, trying to get another chop. Priceless! Done right, there is nothing quite as good and elegant as a rack of lamb. Not done right, this meat can bring the haters out. My experience has been that getting it right is predicated on two things: • Cooking the lamb under very high heat, and • Cooking it to a perfect medium rare. The following recipe is a little different from traditional versions, but the results are fantastic.