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
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- Spray or generously wipe olive oil on sides and bottom of a shallow roasting pan large enough to hold both lamb racks; set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To serve, slice between the bones into individual chops, allowing about two per person.