Rack of Lamb
The quintessential Spring dish is lamb. I used to make a Leg of Lamb, but I switched to a Rack of Lamb about 10 years ago. It is such an easy cut of meat to make. No carving. The nice thing about this cut of lamb is that it can be cooked in the oven or on the grill. It tastes wonderful either way.
Have your butcher remove the chine bone for easy carving if you can. Some Rack of Lamb come pre-package, so it may be a little harder to separate the ribs. Cut each rack of lamb so that you have 4 “frenched” ribs per serving. “Frenched” refers to scraping the meat off the tips of the bones. Ask your butcher to leave 1/8 inch of fat on the meat.
In a large bowl, mix up your marinade which consists of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, spices and lemon zest or lemon peel. Place the lamb in the marinade. Marinate the lamb for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator, turning or basting occasionally.
Place the rack of lamb in a baking dish. Spread some of the marinade (minus the olive oil) on top of the lamb. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 to 24 minutes or until medium rare. Lamb is best when cooked medium rare. It just melts in your mouth. Of course, that is a matter of preference. Some may prefer it cooked a little longer, but don’t go past medium.
To check the temperature, insert an instant read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, without touching the bone. Medium-rare will read between 125° and 130°. Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute. Slice into separate ribs for your guests so they don’t have to do it at the table.
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Rack of Lamb
- Rack of Lamb (8 French Ribs)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest or lemon peel
- ½ teaspoon dill weed
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon marjoram
- 1/8 dried oregano, crushed
- 1/8 dried spearmint, crushed
- Step 1 In a medium bowl, add the olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic and all the spices. Mix thoroughly.
- Step 2 Cut each rack of lamb so that you end up with 4 ribs per serving.
- Step 3 In a large bowl or a marinating dish, place your rack of lamb with the chop portion down.
- Step 4 Pour the olive oil, seasoning mixture over the lamb. Make sure all areas of the lamb is immersed in the mixture.
- Step 5 Let marinate for at least 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Checking on it each hour and turning or basting if needed.
- Step 6 Place the lamb in the baking dish. Spread some of the marinade (minus the olive oil) on top of the lamb and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-24 minutes. These can also be grilled.