Rack of lamb is one of those things that has always sounded horribly grown up to me, like wearing gloves to church or being a person who actually owns stockings. Considering I spent most of my time in Gap t-shirts and faded jeans, I just don’t seem like the type of girl who fancies herself a rack of lamb now and then.
But when your family (and by family, I mean parents) are coming for a visit, something special seems in order. And since my family (which I’ll extend here to include Mr. Gonzo) is willing to try anything once, I figured the time had come to move beyond beef to lamb.
Upon approach to the butcher counter at Henry’s I learned one thing that all who have cooked lamb before me already know: it’s expensive. Really expensive. Still, I’d placed my stake in the ground and there was no backing out now. Besides, I had a secret weapon in my arsenal.
I used this recipe but dialed the ingredients back a bit because I used a smaller rack of lamb than the recipe called for.
I will say I had to increase the time and the oven temperature through no fault of the recipe or Ina herself. The reason? I didn’t completely defrost the meat. Yes, I bought a $40 piece of meat, changed my dinner plans at the last minute and froze it.
But the end result was still the same: tender, slightly sweet meat that paired perfectly with the roasted red potatoes and light salad I prepared on the side. And all that extra time we spent waiting for the meat to roast? That’s the sweet time in family life when the talk is easy and the memories come floating back.
If you’d like to try this method on a leg of lamb (which is less expensive than a rack of lamb), check out this recipe by Mark Bittman.
Rack of Lamb Persillade
2 cloves garlic
1 cup parsley
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons oil
Juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ½ pound rack of lamb
- Preheat oven to 500°.
- Combine all ingredients except lamb in food processor, pulse to chop and combine. Add additional oil to moisten, if needed.
- With clean hands, pack the persillade onto the top of the lamb. Place in a roasting pan.
- Roast for 20 minutes or until done, which in my case was 40 minutes.
- Cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten.