How To: Roast a Rack of Lamb

Large format meats have always been one of the most intimidating categories of food to make in the kitchen for me. It even took a bit of time and personal pep-talks to work up to roasting a simple, whole chicken on my own. When it comes to entertaining, being able to do a large meat dish and organize some simple and flavorful sides around it is indispensable. Seeing as lamb is one of my all-time favorite meats, I figured that a rack of lamb was an excellent jumping off point for this new venture.

I am a huge fan of Food52, and this recipe for a rack of lamb encrusted in parmesan and herbs seemed simple and drool-worthy. The key is finding a butcher that you trust, and having them trim the fat for you so you’re not stuck in the kitchen wielding a knife and trying to make these precise trims yourself. Other than that, the recipe itself it relatively simple, and you can cook it a bit longer if you want your meat to be more well done. I left a bit more fat on my lamb for flavor, but note that this will increase your roasting time. I ended up adjusting my oven to 425 instead of 400, and cooked it an extra 12 minutes for medium rare. No matter how you like your meat done, investing in a good meat thermometer will be indispensable here for quickly knowing if your masterpiece is done. Also, tenting your meat for a few minutes prior to serving will help keep those flavorful juices in the meat. Happy roasting!


Rack of Lamb with Parmesan-Herb Crust

Makes 2 racks of lamb or about 6 servings (note – I halved this recipe and did 1 rack)

  • 2prepared racks of lamb, with ends of the bones scraped clean, or “Frenched”
  • 3tablespoons olive oil, plus some to grease pan
  • 1/2cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1/2cup grated Parmesan
  • 1tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1tablespoon minced fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 1/4cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1large clove garlic, minced
  • 3/8teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Spray or generously wipe olive oil on sides and bottom of a shallow roasting pan large enough to hold both lamb racks; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Mash the minced garlic with salt and add to herb mixture. Stir in pepper and the 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Rinse lamb racks well and pat dry. Trim most of the excess fat. Place the them fat-side up in the roasting pan. Pat half the herb mixture on the fat side of each rack.
  5. Roast for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 400° F and continue roasting for another 10 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat is 120° F for rare. Return to the oven for three minutes more for medium rare. Remove from the oven and allow meat to rest 10 minutes before carving.
  6. To serve, slice between the bones into individual chops, allowing about two per person.



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