Sunday, January 9, 2011

(2/2) Opa! Its Greek night! Fresh Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb


I had to decide on a main to go with my Spanakorizo (previous post). My choice was this Fresh HerbCrusted Rack of Lamb from my fantastic cookbook, Around the Greek Table.

All of my guests loved this recipe and one of them actually described it as EPIC. Yes, EPIC - they used that word! You must try this.

I prefer Quebec lamb myself but alas, they only had New Zealand lamb at the Metro store on this day.
However, to my surprise it was really great and didn't have that strong flavour that New Zealand lamb usually has.  Forgive me, I wish I could provide a better description of what I mean. New Zealand lamb is more "lamby" lol. Quebec lamb is more delicate in flavor. We're famous for it! I heard that the more pungent flavor of New Zealand lamb is due to the way they raise them. They raise the lamb to shave its wool a couple of times before slaughtering it, so its a little older than Quebec lamb...

Uhhh, I suddenly feel sorry for those little lambs...but not enough to become a vegetarian! I'll get over it.

As in my last post - here is the Greek name and pronunciation for this recipe.

Arni me Fresca Votana (Ahr-nee Meh Frehs-ka Voh-tah-na)

Fresh Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb


2 Racks of lamb, 1 + 1/2 lb (750g) - 7 or 8 ribs each
2 Garlic cloves , thinly sliced
1/4 cup each of the following: Fresh parsley, mint and basil - all minced
Olive oil for coating
1/4 tsp each salt/pepper

Tsatziki dip (optional)

Tip: MAKE AHEAD: Lamb racks can be prepared in the morning of the serving day and refrigerated until they are ready for searing.

Preheat oven to 450F (230C)

Trim away the any excess fat from the lab racks.
Cut each rack in half so that there are 3-4 ribs in each piece

Cut slits 1/2 inch deep into the the meaty side of each chop and insert a garlic slice

Combine the herbs in a bowl and set aside

Brush the lamb with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat a heavy ovenproof frying pan over high heat.
(The size of the pan should  be large enough to hold the lamb racks comfortably.)

Sear both sides of the lamb , about 2 min per side.
Remove the pan from the heat and transfer lamb to a cutting board

Once cool enough to handle, generously cover the meaty side of the lamb with the fresh herbs.

As you can see, I chose a pan, in which they didn't fit that comfortably, but it still worked!

Place the lamb back into the ovenproof pan and place in the middle of your preheated oven.
Cook for 15 minutes for medium or 18 minutes for well-done.

Remove the lamb from the pan and tent with foil.
Let it rest for 15 minutes. Keep in mind that the lamb will continue to cook during this time.

Carve the lamb racks into single chops and arrange on a serving platter

Serve with Tsatziki if desired for dipping. I also like to drizzle with lemon.

I served this with Greek Salad & my Spinach & Dill rice (previous post)


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