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Holiday

Rack of Lamb Recipe (with Mint Sauce)

Lamb is an elegant choice for holidays and special occasions. This delicious herb lamb recipe is simple but packed with flavor! Mint-yogurt sauce will be a wonderful addition to the taste of this dish. Try this roasted rack of lamb for a wonderful Easter dinner!

While this beautiful and impressive dish might look complicated, with just a handful of fresh ingredients it comes together quickly and easily. This is easy dish is just as at home on the Sunday dinner table as it is at your next special occasion.

Fresh Flavor

Beautiful food shouldn’t have to be complicated. This Herb Crusted Roasted Rack of Lamb combines a fresh and herbaceous rub with tender lamb for an incredibly savory bite.

There are so many different traditions involving food, from the way they’re prepared to the dishes themselves. In my house we love putting in a roast on a Sunday, especially on a rainy day. I love the way it immediately perfumes the house.

What’s in Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb?

This herb crusted rack of lamb (inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s recipe) has such a nice flavor, and it’s the herb mixture that gives it that simple yet wonderful taste. This Panko breadcrumb mixture is made up of ingredients that give it a light and savory flavor, a perfect complement to the lamb.

  • Lamb: You’ll need a 2-pound (8-rib) rack of lamb that has been frenched and has the fat cap removed.
  • Oil: Olive oil or grapeseed oil work best in this recipe, but you could also use avocado oil.
  • Mustard: Dijon mustard provides a sharp, earthy flavor and helps the fresh herbs to stick to the lamb.
  • Fresh Herbs: Basil, parsley, and thyme make up the herb crust.
  • Garlic: Adds earthy flavor to the crust and the yogurt sauce.
  • Butter: Melted unsalted butter helps the herbs to adhere to the lamb and coats them to keep them from burning in the oven.
  • Salt: Seasons the lamb to bring out its natural gamey flavor.
  • Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are necessary for the right crunch. Do not substitute with regular breadcrumbs!
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds saltiness and a pungent flavor to the crust.
  • Greek Yogurt: Forms the base of the minty sauce that perfectly complements the lamb.
  • Mint: Fresh mint is necessary for the right balance of flavor to offset the gaminess of the lamb.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a bit of earthy pepperiness to the sauce.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon adds brightness to the sauce. I do not recommend using bottled lemon juice.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Adds a bit of heat to the sauce, but is totally optional.

Pro Tip: Feel free to switch up the herbs to better suit your personal tastes. Sage or rosemary would be delicious!

Variations on Rack of Lamb

You can easily change up this rack of lamb to suit your tastes. As suggested, you could swap some or all of the fresh herbs for the herbs of your choice, like sage, rosemary, or even mint! You can use a less potent mustard for a lighter flavor.

Try swapping the Parmesan cheese for another hard cheese, like Asiago or Pecorino Romano! And while I think the mint yogurt sauce is the perfect pairing, you could also serve this rack of lamb with balsamic glaze, browned butter, mustard cream sauce, chimichurri, or pesto.

FAQ

What is a frenched rack of lamb?

A “frenched” rack of lamb is a method of trimming the meat. This means that some of the meat and fat is trimmed off the ends (usually about two inches), exposing the rib bones. You can see in the photos how the meat is concentrated on one end, while the other is bare. You can find lamb like this at the store or butcher, so no need to trim it yourself (although you can).

What kind of meat is rack of lamb?

Rack of lamb is cut from the rib primal, which encompasses the ribs between the shoulder and loin. The meat here is considered the most tender and flavorful.

How many does 1 rack of lamb serve?

One rack of lamb divided into 8 chops will serve 2-3 people. Plan for 2-3 lamb chops per person.

How long does it take to cook rack of lamb?

It takes about 20-25 minutes to roast this rack of lamb.

What temp should rack of lamb be cooked to?

The official “safe” internal temperature for lamb (according to the USDA) is 140-145°F, which is medium/medium-well. However, most people prefer to eat rack of lamb a bit more rare than that.
Lamb is one of those meats that is okay to serve on the rare side. Cooking it to 125-130°F will leave the insides pink (medium-rare), which is typically fine and safe to eat. However we do prefer (and recommend) cooking it to 135-145°F.

How do you cut rack of lamb?

Simply cut between the ribs in smooth, single strokes to separate the rack into chops.

How to Store and Reheat Frenched Rack of Lamb

Store leftover rack of lamb in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The mint yogurt sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat the lamb in a 325°F oven wrapped in aluminum foil for about 15 minutes, or until warmed through.

How to Freeze Roast Rack of Lamb

Freeze rack of lamb in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. I do not recommend freezing the yogurt sauce.

What to Serve with Roasted Rack of Lamb

This Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe is absolutely a special occasion kind of dish. Sure, you can serve it any time you like, but it’s so beautiful, so elegant, it really deserves to be saved for holidays and big feasts.

You could serve it on Christmas or Thanksgiving (a nice change from the usual turkey and ham), but it’s really perfect for one holiday in particular. Lamb is a great Easter Dinner idea, especially when accompanied by lots of vegetables, salads, and sides.

There are so many great side dishes you can serve with this roast rack of lamb recipe. Roasted carrots are a great option, but so many veggie sides will work perfectly.

This is the kind of main dish made for feasts, so plan to make plenty of sides to go with it, like Oven Roasted Asparagus with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Garlic Herb Creamy Scalloped Potatoes, Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower Recipe, Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, Slow Cooker Velveeta Broccoli Rice Casserole, or a Creamy Cucumber Salad.

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb Recipe with Mint Yogurt Sauce

This Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe is a beautiful holiday recipe fit for a feast! Try it out for Easter, Christmas, or any special occasion.
Prep Time 20 days
Cook Time 25 days
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Becky Hardin
Cuisine American, French, Italian, Japanese, Mexican
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

For the Lamb

  • 2 pounds rack of lamb frenched (bone exposed) with fat cap removed (1 rack)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves packed
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley flat leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (¼ stick)
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 8 ounces Panko breadcrumbs (do not substitute regular breadcrumbs!)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

For the Yogurt Mint Sauce

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper optional

Instructions
 

For the Rack of Lamb

  • **Remove the lamb from the fridge 1½ hours before cooking to ensure it is at room temperature before placing in the oven. If the meat isn’t at room temperature before cooking, it won’t cook evenly.**
    2 pounds rack of lamb
  • Line a bakign sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the rack of lamb on the prepared baking sheet and brush all sides of the lamb with oil and Dijon mustard. Lightly season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside until the basil crust/seasoning is ready.
    2 tablespoons olive oil,4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, pulse the basil, parsley, thyme, garlic, butter, salt, bread crumbs and Parmesan until the ingredients are evenly processed, about 6-8 times. Season to taste, and add more salt, pepper and/or Parmesan cheese, if needed.
    ½ cup fresh basil leaves,¼ cup fresh Italian parsley,1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves,4 cloves garlic,2 tablespoons unsalted butter,1½ tablespoons kosher salt,8 ounces Panko breadcrumbs,½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • With the lamb on the sheet pan, press the basil/parsley/thyme mixture into both sides of the lamb meat.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F for 15-30 minutes before placing the lamb in the oven and set the oven rack to the middle position.
  • Wrap the bones in aluminum foil and place the lamb with the bones curving up.
  • Roast the lamb for 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare (125°F-130°F). For complete transparency, we prefer lamb cooked to medium to medium-well (135-145°F).
  • Remove the lamb from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 15 minutes and cut into individual ribs.

For the Yogurt Mint Sauce

  • While the lamb is roasting, whisk all of the yogurt sauce ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl until smooth. Refrigerate, in an airtight container, until ready to use.
    1 cup plain Greek yogurt,½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves,2 cloves garlic,1 teaspoon kosher salt,½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice,1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • Serve with the finished rack of lamb.
Keyword Herb Crusted, Rack of Lamb

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