So there I was, in the kosher aisle of the Try-n-Save last week. And what should appear before me amongst the chicken and beef but ... RACK OF LAMB! I couldn't believe it! Racks upon racks of lamb racks! In all my years on this earth I had NEVER seen a kosher rack of lamb up close and in person before! Somehow I thought that individual baby lamb chops were kinda born that way.
Whoa ... just remembering this very special day makes me have to catch my breath a minute ...
Okay, I'm fine now.
RACKS OF LAMB! WOO-HOO!
Sorry ... got excited again ...
Okay ... I'm calm now. A little shot of Marsala does wonders. ;-)
Anyway, the price per pound for each rack was substantially less than for a package of individual chops, from obscene to merely exorbitant. I picked up one baby rack and, clutching the package tightly, headed home, with visions of chops dancing in my head. Okay, I stopped long enough to pay for it along with the contents of my cart. My wallet cried a bit, but I rationalized that this was the Very. First. Time I ever had the chance to buy a kosher rack (who knew when opportunity would knock again), and when I amortized the cost over the entire length of married life it wasn't expensive at all. :P
Since the price of this bit of heaven was pretty once close to what I once spent on a company dinner roast beef, I had to be perfectly certain that it would cook up perfectly perfect.
TIP ALERT! Unless your rack does not come pre-frenched (ribs trimmed down and exposed fancy-schmancy style), please skip any extra trimming. You will butcher the lamb ... and not in a good way. And by you, I mean me. Three days later, my almost sliced-through finger has finally stopped bleeding.
TheHubby requested a mustard coating (for the lamb, not him). I wanted to add breadcrumbs to the mix, something similar to my recipe for roast beef. So after drilling through many recipes, I finally settled on the one below. And it came out perfectly perfect. *sigh*
Tuesday morning found me back in the kosher aisle. It took all my energy to walk past the remaining lamb racks. I did slow down a bit to gush to the mashgiach about how perfect the lamb turned out. He was very pleased to be given a complement for a change. Having done my mitzvah, in return I noticed that everyone in the supermarket was unusually nice and polite. Maybe they had that rack of lamb afterglow as well.
Rack of Lamb
based on Use Real Butter
1 rack of lamb (8 ribs), hopefully pre-frenched
4 Tbl. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 heaping Tbl. Dijon mustard
1 heaping tsp. coarsely ground mustard
leaves from 1 large sprig thyme
1 tsp. chopped garlic, (bottled okay)
1 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbl. finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 slices bread (crust removed), grated into crumbs
leaves from 1 large sprig rosemary, finely chopped
cooking spray (optional)
About an hour or so before you are ready to cook, remove lamb rack from fridge. Cover rib ends with foil to prevent unsightly browning. Try to do this a little more neatly than I did. Set aside.
Meanwhile, combine in a small bowl 2 tablespoons of oil, the two mustards, thyme, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
In another small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of oil with parsley, breadcrumbs and rosemary. Set both aside.
After the one hour, preheat oven to 475F. Heat a large saute pan or skillet over high heat. When hot, add remaining teaspoon of oil, wait 10 seconds, then add lamb. Sear all sides, about 2 minutes per side, until browned.
Remove the rack from the pan to a plate and brush the mustard mixture over the meat. Then press herb crumb mixture into mustard mixture.
Place the lamb on a roasting rack inside a baking dish (optionally lightly sprayed with cooking spray for easier cleanup). If you use a temperature probe that works, roast until internal temperature is between 125-135F (medium-rare). Lamb is usually served medium-rare or medium; for best results, avoid overcooking.
Cover lamb with aluminum foil and allow to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover and slice between ribs into individual chops.
Serve 2 chops per person, along with traditional mashed potatoes (heavy on the garlic, optional) and/or another veggie of your choice.