Rack of Lamb With Red Wine Sauce

Rack of lamb
Tim Klein/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 4 Servings
Ratings (14)

This succulent rack of lamb is roasted and served with an easy red wine and herb pan sauce. Use a good quality red wine for the sauce, and use fresh herbs if possible.

This lamb makes a fabulous meal for a special occasion. Serve it with mashed potatoes and steamed or roasted vegetables. Roasted Brussels sprouts or steamed green beans are excellent choices.

What You'll Need

  • 2 racks of lamb
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Red Wine Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
  • 1 cup good quality dry red wine, Pinot Noir or cabernet sauvignon are good choices
  • 1 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves or about 1/4 teaspoon of crumbled dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced thyme leaves or a dash of dried leaf thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 1 cup beef stock, preferably unsalted or low sodium
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to Make It

 Heat oven to 400 F (200  C/Gas 6).

Sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet — preferably an oven-safe skillet — over medium-high heat. Place racks of lamb in skillet, meaty side down. Sear the lamb until nicely browned on all sides, letting the racks support each other.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the lamb for about 20 to 30 minutes. 

The minimum safe temperature recommended by the USDA for lamb is 145 F or 160 F for ground lamb.

That temperature would be medium-well. If you prefer a different temperature, here's a guide to temperatures (before any resting time):

  • Rare: 115 F to 120 F
  • Medium Rare: 120 F to 125 F
  • Medium: 130 F to 135 F
  • Medium Well: 140 F to 145 F
  • Well Done: 150 F to 155 F

Remove the racks to a platter, tent it loosely with foil, and keep warm.


Place the skillet over medium heat and add the shallot or onions to the drippings. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Add the wine and herbs; boil until the wine has reduced by about two-thirds. Add the beef stock and continue to cook over medium heat until reduced to about 3/4 cup. Add the butter; stir.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sauce with the lamb. Makes about 3/4 cup.

Cut lamb into portions and serve with the red wine sauce.

Serves 2 to 4, depending on the meat-eaters in your family.