Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb

I absolutely love lamb!  In my opinion, its flavour is something like that of venison, only a little milder.  So, if you’ve never tried lamb, especially the rib section or “chops” as they’re sometimes called, and you like venison… you’ll totally drool over this one!  Obviously, this recipe will work perfectly with a rack of venison too.

If you’re not too familiar with the various cuts of meat, you’ll notice that a rack of lamb is the same shape as a prime rib of beef (rib steak) only a lot smaller.  That’s because a lamb is a lot smaller than a cow…  Other than that, it is the same cut.  It’s just a different name.  When you cut your rack of lamb into individual ribs, you end up with a bunch of “lamb rib steaks.”  We just call them chops, probably because they’re so small.

Typically, lamb is served rare or medium rare with mint sauce and that’s how I’ve put this one together.  There’s nothing really new about this recipe, however, if you’ve never made a rack of lamb or homemade mint sauce, this recipe will guide you.  And, speaking of mint sauce… stop buying that over-priced crap in the jar, would ya?  Make it yourself!  It just takes a few minutes and it only requires a few simple ingredients.  Plus, if you’re a dude and you have a smokin’ hot “Power Babe” comin’ over for dinner… you can show off by saying, “Ya… I made that mint sauce myself.”  Or, if you’re a dudette and you have a big-time “stud muffin” over one evening… strut your stuff!

I really like small potatoes roasted in olive oil, garlic and fresh rosemary with my lamb.  That’s what is pictured here.  Those little guys only take about a half hour on 400 F.  You could toss ‘em into the microwave for about five minutes to get them started, but I happen to think that microwave ovens are UNRUGGED and I hate them!  Your call…

New Zealand is famous for its lamb, but I happen to think that my home province of Ontario produces some of the best lamb in the world… you’re damn right!  And, this is where this rack came from.

Ingredients:

  • 1 rack (usually 8 – 9 ribs) This will serve 2 people.
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh, finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 cup fine chopped fresh mint (must be fresh)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup malt vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Crank that oven and let’s go!

Place the potatoes in a small roasting pan or oven-safe roasting dish, brush ’em with olive oil, fine chopped or crushed garlic, finely chopped rosemary, salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Into the oven at 400 F… should take about 30 minutes or so.

This is a good time to make your mint sauce.  In a small pot or sauce pan, bring the water, sugar and vinegar to a boil.  Reduce by about 1/3.  Then add mint.  Taste as you go… you might need more mint or more sugar.  That’s it!

Preheat a cast iron pan to medium high.  Rub the rack of lamb with olive oil, crushed garlic, fresh chopped rosemary and salt and pepper.  Cover the entire rack.  Pan fry (sear) both sides for about one – two minutes per side until the outsides are caramelized and nicely browned.

Roast the lamb at 400 F.  For medium rare you’re looking at about 15 -18 minutes, tops.  Don’t overcook your lamb!!  For rare, I’d go about 12 – 15 minutes.  This will all depend on the size of the rack (they’re usually all around the same size), the length of time you had in on the stove top and how accurate the thermostat is on your oven.  You know your oven better than I do.

Once it’s done, take it out and let it rest for at least 6 or 7 minutes.  Cover it with some tin foil.  If you don’t, the juices will spill out all over your cutting board.  Such a shame!

Cut the chops into individual ribs, usually four per person.  Sauce should go on top… drizzling down.  Garnish with fresh rosemary.  Holy shee-it, I’m think I’m getting a “Johnson!”

“Pound ‘er Down!”

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