Impress your guests with this beautiful pistachio crusted roast rack of lamb. Sweet, nutty pistachios are added to a traditional Dijon mustard crust, which gives the lamb a great flavor and texture.
- For the Lamb:
- 2 racks of lamb (just under 1 1/2 pounds each, trimmed or Frenched)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, or dried Italian herb blend
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- For the Nut Crust:
- 2/3 cup pistachios (finely chopped and toasted)
- 2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs (toasted)
- 1 tablespoon butter (melted)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Prepare the lamb: Season the lamb generously with the salt and pepper. If there's more than a thin layer of fat on the rack, use a sharp knife to trim, leaving a thin layer. Sprinkle the dried herbs over the lamb and gently press to adhere. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Brown the lamb racks, one at a time, for about 2 minutes per side, or until nicely browned.
Arrange the racks, bone side down, in a roasting pan.
3. Use a spoon to spread the Dijon mustard over the surface of the lamb. Spread some over the sides and ends, but most of the mustard should remain on the top surface.
4. Make the pistachio nut crust: In a small bowl, combine the pistachios, breadcrumbs, melted butter, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle half of the mixture over each rack of lamb. Once evenly distributed, press gently with your fingers to make sure it adheres to the mustard.
5. Roast the lamb for 18 to 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 120° to 125°F for rare or 130° to 135°F for medium-rare.
6.. Remove the lamb from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. To serve, carve the racks between the bones to cut into chops.
• Tender cuts of lamb, such as a rack and loin chops, should be cooked using dry heat methods, such as roasting, grilling.
• It's recommended that for the best flavor and texture, you serve lamb rare or medium rare. Using a meat thermometer is the best way to gauge this - the internal temperature will register 120° to 125°F for rare, and 130° to 135°F for medium rare. Remember that the meat will continue to cook (another 5 to 10 degrees) after it has been removed from the oven (this is called carryover cooking).
• Coating the lamb with mustard not only adds flavor but allows for the nut crust to stick.