An Easter Treat
In my family lamb was always the meat of choice for Easter Sunday dinner. My mom liked to experiment with recipes she found in magazines. Here is one of my favorites. She has prepared it dozens of times and claims it to be fool proof. On this occasion I assisted in the preparation. The resulting dish was extraordinary, no thanks to my help, except for perhaps to my attention to making sure the coatings of dijon mustard, herbs and bread crumbs were applied as evenly as possible.
The preparation time for this entree is about 10 - 20 minutes depending on how fast you work. The cooking time is 35 minutes, done in two stages. A rack of american lamb is a bit larger than new Zealand lamb. Racks of lamb generally have 8 chops and can feed 2 - 4 people, depending on the rest of the meal and how hungry they are. Your butcher will most likely have trimmed outer thick layer of fat, called the cap, from the rack. Most likely the bones will also be Frenched.
The cap of fat is cut away to reduce both dietary fat intake and to reduce the cooking time. Frenching the bones of racks of meat means that the fat, and what little meat there is there, is cut away from the ends of the ribs or chops for a more pleasing esthetic appearance.
Arrange your oven rack to just below the middle of your oven. Pre-heat the oven to 425˚ F.
- One rack of 8 ribs of lamb
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon of minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 slice of good sturdy sourdough bread
- In a bowl combine the herbs, oil, shallots, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Rub the entire rack of lamb with all but one teaspoon of the herb mixture.
- Place the rack of lamb in a shallow roasting pan or half sheet pan.
- Place the pan with the rack into the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- Finely chop the bread into small crumbs.
- Mix the bread crumbs with the reserved teaspoon of herb mixture.
- Remove the rack of lamb from the oven.
- Coat the entire rack with the Dijon mustard.
- Evenly spread the bread crumbs onto the mustard coated rack.
- Return the lamb to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes until the crumbs are golden brown.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Cut the lamb into 8 pieces between the ribs and serve right away.