For this spring lamb recipe, an 8-rib rack is slathered with olive oil, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper and then roasted to a perfect medium-rare. The perfect centerpiece to usher in warmer weather.
In Spain and Italy, tender, milk-fed baby lamb is well-known and appreciated, and the best French butchers carry tiny agneau du lait from the Pyrenees. Here in the States, lamb that small is hard to find, but some small farms now market midsize spring lamb. Ask your butcher for the smallest racks he has. The rack is the tenderest cut of the beast and the easiest to cook. Originally published April 18, 2011.–David Tanis
What Is A
When you request racks of lamb from your butcher, ask him nicely to also “french” them for you. The term refers to trimming the the bones of their unsightly gristle and membranes and other such unpleasantness, making them far more palatable, even a little elegant. All that remains for you to do is rub the racks with a simple herb paste, toss them in the oven, slice them into diminutive little chops, and gracefully accept the accolades.
Spring Lamb with Rosemary
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- Two 8-bone racks of lamb, frenched
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste with a little salt
- Several sprigs of rosemary, leaves coarsely chopped
- Olive oil
- 1. Season the racks liberally with salt and pepper. Using your hands, rub each rack with the garlic, the chopped rosemary, and a drizzle of olive oil. Place the racks, fatty side up, in a roasting pan and leave them at room temperature for an hour or so.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204° C).
- 3. Roast the racks for about 20 minutes, until they’re nicely browned and have an interior temperature of 125°F (51°C) on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and place a serving platter in the oven to warm.
- 4. Transfer the racks to a cutting board. To carve the lamb, simply slice between the bones. Arrange the lamb chops on the warm platter and serve.