rack of lamb used to be one of my signature dishes when i was first learning to cook. it's so simple to make but has this super decadent, fancy factor. unfortunately, it's not the cheapest cut of meat so it's fallen out of my repertoire during this last year+ of recessionista cooking. however, recently i got a request from a client to make a rack of lamb for her and her husband, and it reminded me how much i missed biting into a perfectly tender medium-rare piece of rack of lamb. the subtle gaminess of the meat, nibbling every last remnant off the bone and of course the many possible accompaniments - i missed all of it. while rack of lamb can be served perfectly naked with just some s&p, i love it even more when it's served with the right accompaniment: a pan sauce, a spice rub, an herb crust, a side of polenta.
for these new clients, i wanted to come up with a new accompaniment. the wife had just had a child and was looking to shed some of her baby weight, so i knew i wanted something light but full of flavor. sun-dried tomatoes came to mind as it has just the right level of acidity balanced with an earthy savoriness. it would make the perfect base for a rough chopped pesto-paste. combined with parsley, mint, garlic and some olive oil and salt, i found myself spooning this into my mouth long after i cleaned off all the meat from the bone.rack of lamb
one rack of lamb (french cut)
1 tbs salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tbs olive oil
preheat oven to 400 degrees.
a rack of lamb should contain 8 bones. slice into four pieces, so between the 2nd and 3rd bone, 4th and 5th and 6th and 7th. sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper.
heat a large stainless steel oven safe pan over high heat. add olive oil and distribute around the pan. carefully place each piece of lamb onto one of their exposed cut sides. sear for 3 minutes and turn over to the other side and sear for another 2 minutes. cover with a piece of aluminum foil and place inside oven. cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees for medium rare. let rest for 10 minutes before slicing through each piece of lamb again so that one side of the meat is seared and the other tender and moist. eat with sun-dried tomato pesto-paste below!
sun-dried tomato pesto-paste with parsley & mint
makes 1/2 cup, can be served with any protein
6 sundried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/4 bunch of parsley
6-8 mint leaves
3 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
rough chop first four ingredients together, so flavors start to meld. pour olive oil over and add salt to ingredients. run knife through a few more times through mixture so that it almost forms a paste. spoon over proteins - great with lamb, chicken or fish.