Roasted rack of lamb tends to be one of those "go-to" dishes among people who cook for a living, especially around the holidays. It's easy to make, fast to cook, and very impressive for the guests. All these facts can work in your favor, too.
Rack of lamb comes from the lamb rib primal, with eight ribs attached, and it's incredibly tender. The rack can be cooked whole or sliced into individual lamb rib chops first. For this recipe we're going to sear the whole rack and then roast it in the oven.
This rack of lamb recipe features the classic combination of Dijon mustard along with an herb and breadcrumb crust. But for a minimalist take, you could just sear it, brush it with olive oil, coat it in herbs (fresh rosemary, if you had to pick just one) and roast it. Rack of lamb is pretty foolproof as long as you don't overcook it.
- 2 racks of lamb (have your butcher "french" the rib bones and trim excess fat)
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped fresh)
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves (chopped fresh)
- 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves (chopped fresh)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Take the lamb out of the fridge and season it generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let the lamb sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before you begin.
- In a large sauté pan, heat some high-heat oil like safflower or sunflower oil until it is almost smoking.
- Place one rack fat-side down in the oil and sear for two minutes until it is nicely golden-brown. Because the rack is curved, you'll have to tip it back and forth so that as much of the surface area is browned as possible. Then turn it and brown the other side for another minute. Sear the ends as well, for about a minute each, so that the entire outside has a beautiful brown crust.
- Now set the rack aside, drain the fat from the pan, add fresh oil and get it hot, and repeat for the second rack.
- Preheat your oven to 425 F. Combine the breadcrumbs, herbs, Kosher salt and black pepper to taste, along with a drizzle of olive oil in a food processor and pulse until just blended, and transfer the seasoned crumbs to a sheet pan.
- Brush the lamb with the mustard on the fat side and on the ends, but not on the bone side. Then dredge the lamb in the breadcrumbs, pressing them onto the meat so that they stick.
- Set the lamb fat-side up on a sheet pan with a roasting rack and transfer to the oven.
- Roast for 30 minutes or until the ends of the lamb feel firm and spring back when you squeeze them. Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes, tented with foil. Then slice into two-rib sections and serve each person two pieces.