Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb
Adapted from "Ad Hoc at Home" by Thomas Keller
A roasted rack of lamb is an impressive centerpiece for an Easter celebration or an elegant dinner party. Start this recipe by searing the lamb racks and coating them with a honey-mustard mixture. Press on a panko-breadcrumb coating with garlic, anchovies, rosemary, and parsley mixed in, then roast. Present the roasted racks to your guests with a side of lentils and Swiss chard.
Special equipment: You’ll need a pastry brush for this recipe.
- 2 (2- to 2-1/2-pound) frenched 8-bone racks of lamb, fat cap trimmed to 1/4 inch
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 anchovy fillets, salt-packed or oil-packed, rinsed, dried, and finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), at room temperature and cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups panko
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Gray or coarse sea salt, for serving
1Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the bottom third. Meanwhile, let the lamb sit at room temperature.
2Generously season the racks all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Place 1 lamb rack fat-side down in the pan and sear until golden brown, rotating the rack to brown as much of the fat as possible (you’re just trying to brown the fat, so don’t worry about flipping the rack over), about 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer the lamb to a work surface, browned-side up. Drain the oil from the pan and wipe out any browned bits with a paper towel. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, and repeat with the remaining rack.
3Place the garlic and anchovies on a cutting board. Make a paste by pressing down on the blade of a chef’s knife and dragging the side of it across the garlic and anchovies at a 15-degree angle, alternating between smashing them together and chopping the mixture, until a fine paste forms. Transfer the paste to a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix until smooth and combined. Add the panko, parsley, and rosemary and use your hands to evenly combine; set aside.
4Place the mustard and honey in a small bowl and stir to combine. Using a pastry brush, evenly brush the browned sides of the lamb racks with the mustard-honey mixture, using all of it. Using your hands, gently press half of the panko mixture onto each of the racks over the mustard-honey mixture, making sure to cover the rack all the way up to the bones.
5Place the prepared lamb racks in a roasting pan with the bones facing the same direction. Roast, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking time, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F to 130°F for rare, about 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer the racks to a cutting board and let them rest uncovered for about 15 minutes.
6Carve each rack into 4 (2-bone) chops and arrange them on a platter. (Some of the coating may fall off—just sprinkle it back on the lamb.) Season with gray or coarse sea salt and serve.
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