No matter what season, roasted rack of lamb always seems like a good choice for a special occasion. Served with a creamy potato gratin in the wintertime, with a cold salad on a hot summer night, or with crisp roasted vegetables in the springtime. It’s also a good last minute choice as it requires surprisingly little time and effort and the rack itself can be done in less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
rack of lamb with rosemary and thyme
2 racks of lamb
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying
Preheat oven to 450F/225C.
Season lamb with salt and pepper and fry in a hot skillet, fat side down, for about 6 minutes until dark brown.
Transfer lamb to an oven safe pan, fat side up, and sprinkle herbs over the top. If there are exposed bones on the rack, cover with aluminum foil to prevent burning.
Roast in the oven until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 130F/55C for medium rare. This will take about 1o-15 minutes. Getting the right temperature is especially easy with the help of a digital cooking thermometer like this one. Insert the thermometer before the lamb goes in the oven, and without interrupting the cooking, the thermometer signals when the correct temperature is reached.
Let the lamb rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
½ cup butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Melt butter, take off the heat and add chopped herbs.
For the guest who prefers high protein, low carb meals, these roasted vegetables will make a great side dish for the rack of lamb. For that guest, eliminate the sunchokes and replace with more fennel and radishes.
2 fennel bulbs
2 heads garlic
½ pound sunchokes
1 pound radishes
oil to coat
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
Cut fennel, radishes and peeled sunchokes into 1 inch pieces. Peel garlic cloves but leave them whole.
Toss vegetables with oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated and spread on a large roasting pan or on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Roast in the oven for 40-60 minutes depending on preferred browning and tenderness. Toss every 10-15 minutes.
Garnished with fresh radish flowers.
Photography by Philip Blankenship.