Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb


serves two to three people


1 rack of lamb, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds before trimming (double the recipe for two racks) 

3 cloves minced garlic

3 sprigs rosemary, minced

grated lemon peel from 12 lemon

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 T. grated parmesan cheese

2 T. olive oil

salt, pepper

Dijon mustard to spread on lamb


If the rack of lamb is not already trimmed by your butcher, you will need to do so, by cutting out the fat and bits of meat between the ribs (a process called Frenching) and by trimming away all the visible fat. Most butchers leave some fat on the meat, but this cut of meat is very tender, and the fat doesn't need to be there to tenderize or flavor the meat. Besides, when the roast is covered with mustard and bread crumbs, and spends so little time in the oven, the fat won't melt into the meat, leaving you a layer of unappealing layer of fat when you bite through the bread crumbs into the meat. Beneath the fat you'll find a layer of "silver skin" and it's best to trim this away too.

Make sure you leave the roast at room temperature for an hour (I left it for two) before roasting in the oven. Otherwise, you can't be assured of even cooking. 

After trimming off the fat, sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper, then spread a layer of Dijon mustard all over, top and bottom.

Mix together the garlic, rosemary, lemon peel, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Dab the mixture over all sides of the roast.

Place the roast on a rack in an oven that's been preheated to 450 degrees. Roast for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 300 degrees and roast for 15 minutes more if you like it cooked medium rare (as in the photos). Use a meat thermometer for accuracy - 120-130 degrees for rare (barely cooked inside) 130-140 degrees for medium rare (bright pink to red inside), 140-150 for medium (pale pink inside.) Let the roast rest for 15 minutes. It will continue to cook a bit further and the temperature will rise slightly. 

Slice between the ribs and serve.