Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Honey-Dijon Sauce
You can have a restaurant quality meal at home in less than an hour. This Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Honey-Dijon Sauce is easy to prepare and roasts for less than 30 minutes (35 minutes for medium-well). Whipped up with ingredients you, most likely, already have in your pantry….you may never eat out again.
If you’re looking for a last-minute dinner idea for your Valentine….this is it. I love roasting a rack of lamb because it already has so much flavor, you can treat it pretty minimally with stellar results. I adapted the recipe from one of my favorite chef’s books, Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller. His recipes taught me that with a little extra care the meals you make at home could top some of the best restaurant meals you ever had. Simplicity is key….and sometimes a lot of time.
I rarely stray from his recipes but this time I needed to. I didn’t have the anchovies he called for in his recipe so I substituted equally briney capers….success. I, actually, prefer the capers over the anchovies. I’m sure he would not. I also did not use his honey mustard glaze….and I didn’t use his glaze as he told me to. I prefer a sauce….to dip….or drizzle….or drench onto of my meat. This is the way to go. I’m sure he disagrees but since he is not making this Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb and, most likely, is not a reader of my blog….what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Right? And if he does read this….Mr. Keller, you are invited over for dinner anytime. And I’m sorry I’m not sorry I tampered with perfection. 🙂
What is key to this recipe is the method….so here are some tips I suggest you do not skip.
Be sure to buy a frenched rack of lamb. This means the meat is cleaned up between the bones. You can have your butcher take care of this for you or you can sometimes buy them this way. I buy mine at Costco and they’re pretty amazing. Doing it yourself is not hard, it just adds some time to your prep work.
Also, don’t over mix your herb crust. You want to make sure it just comes together enough to adhere to the lamb.
Score the fat on the rack of lamb and sear fat side down to render some of the fat.
Sear in a hot pan, briefly, to render the fat and create a golden crust.
Roast bone side down and lightly pat the crust on top of the meat.
Don’t overcook! Use your meat thermometer….I cook my racks to a med-rare, which is about 128 degrees on the thermometer. Add 5 minutes if you like it med-well….but don’t. Just don’t do this…med-well or well done is no way to treat your rack of lamb. Mr. Keller would agree.
So…in closing….make this tonight. Serve it with my Smashed Skillet Potatoes. Your Valentine will never forget it and may even give you their credit card.
Recipe adapted from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home
Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Honey-Dijon Sauce
- 2 frenched 8-bone racks of lamb
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon capers drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard I use Maille
- 2 teaspoons original Dijon mustard I use Maille
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Score the fat covering the meat in 1/2 inch crosshatch pattern being careful not to cut the meat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan over med-high heat and place one rack fat side down in the pan. Sear until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes, and transfer to a roasting rack placed in a roasting pan. Drain off the fat, add more oil and sear the remaining rack.
- In the bowl of a small food processor, pulse the butter, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic and capers until combined and the capers are broken up slightly. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and add the bread crumbs, rosemary and parsley. Fold the butter mixture and bread crumbs until the crust begins to come together and form small clumps.
- Spread the crust evenly over the lamb, pressing gently so the crumbs adhere.
- Roast the lamb in the oven, with the meat side toward the back, for 25-35 minutes or until the internal temperature in the center of the meat registers 128 degrees to 130 degrees F. Allow the lamb to rest on the rack for approximately 20 minutes for medium-rare.
- While the lamb rests, whisk the mustard, Worcestershire and honey together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Carve each rack into four 2-bone chops and arrange on a platter. Serve immediately with the Honey-Dijon sauce.
- Note: The lamb can be prepared and refrigerated, on the rack in the roasting pan, for up to 6 hours uncooked. Remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting it to allow it to come to room temperature.