Last night my wife and I went to one of the nicer restaurants in our area. We’d heard a lot of hype about this place, so we jumped at the chance to dine there during a special “pric fixe” promotion they’re doing. Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and truffle oil were just a few of the ingredients that made their way to our plates in one way or another. Aside from my risotto being slightly over-seasoned, the meal was quite delicious. The ambience was a different story (awkward layout, questionable colour scheme), but that’s another story.
It’s amazing what you can do with good ingredients, isn’t it? As delicious as our meal was, my wife has expressed her belief that I could have made that meal just as well as the restaurant had – with the exception of the carrot she had, which was apparently the best she’s ever tasted.
I love the confidence that she now has in my cooking abilities. It pushes me to prove her right, attempting more and more, shall we say “impressive”, dishes; tonight’s dinner, as you may have guessed, was exactly that. Fresh off of last night’s fine dining experience, I wanted to step up and wow her with something that, back when we exchanged rings and I cried through our vows, she never would have expected from me.
So…I made an herb-crusted rack of lamb – and it was delicious! (Which is why I feel the need to share the recipe with you now, of course.)
I served it with some fancy-looking carrots and multi-coloured creamer potatoes, smashed and roasted together with garlic and rosemary, as well as some buttery wilted baby spinach. The meal, like last night, was quite stellar. The ambience was regrettably worse, though, what with the dirty dishes and my need to photograph well after my wife had started eating her portion. Oh well, #foodbloggerproblems, right?
As a side note, I actually made more of the herb/bread crumb mixture than I call for in the recipe posted below. I ended up with about 50% more than was needed, so I scaled back the recipe a tad to avoid waste. I also decreased the amount of salt in that mixture just slightly, to make it just a little bit more perfect. I should also mention that I used a Jamie Oliver recipe for guidance in terms of cooking technique, and the recipe Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb from “What She’s Having” as inspiration.
Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb
- 2 racks of lamb (8-9 chops each), Frenched
- 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 4 tsp. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 tbsp. shaved & finely chopped parmesan
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- sea salt and ground black pepper
- olive oil
- Preheat an oven to 400°F and ensure you have a rack set to the middle level.
- In a small bowl, combine together the rosemary, garlic, parsley, parmesan, and bread crumbs along with 1/4 tsp. salt and a dash or two of pepper. Mix in about 20 ml (4 tsp.) olive oil to help bind the mix together.
- In a small bowl, combine together 2 tsp. sea salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Season your two lamb racks all over with this mixture (you may have a small amount left over, which is okay). Pour a small amount of olive oil over the racks, rubbing to fully coat each of them on all sides.
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, sear the racks for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Place the racks in roasting pan, fat side down, and cook for 8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, slather the meat with mustard, and coat with the herb/bread crumb mixture.
- Return to the roasting pan, and continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes longer. As ovens vary, check with a meat thermometer (145°F for medium-rare, 160°F for medium, 170°F for well-done).
- Remove meat from oven and let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.
- Slice into individual chops and serve.
serves 4-5 (3-4 chops each)