When Ken was little and Kurt was the primary chef due to my crazy travel schedule, rack of lamb was an easy dish for Kurt to prepare with Ken underfoot. Served with roasted potatoes that could cook with the lamb and steamed green beans, Kurt could throw this dinner together in under an hour. To get Ken to eat these little lamb chops, we told him it was “meat on a stick,” so he wouldn’t fuss over eating Baa Baa Black Sheep or Mary’s Little Lamb. He loves them best rare, just like his parents!
Kurt favors the Barefoot Contessa recipe with mustard, parsley and bread crumbs; although it’s very tasty, I prefer a simpler marinade that really lets the flavor of the lamb shine. Lemon, salt and pepper, plus a rough marinade of chopped garlic, fresh rosemary and olive oil do it for me!
The key, from my experience, to foolproof roasted rack of lamb is to let the meat sit out for about 45 minutes before roasting. Since the actual roasting time is under 30 minutes– more like 20 if you like very rare meat like we do, you can get your sides started or even completed while the lamb is warming up.
Rack of Lamb
- 1 rack of lamb (8-9 ribs– one usually feeds 2-3 people depending on what else you serve
- 1 lemon
- 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 long sprig of fresh rosemary
- 2-3 TB olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Chop the garlic and mix with rosemary leaves and enough olive oil. Set aside.
Remove lamb rack from refrigerator and rub all over with lemon juice.
Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper.
Pour the garlic/rosemary mixture over the rack and rub all over, particularly across the fatty side of the rack.
Let lamb come to room temperature. (For me, this is about 45 minutes). Taking the chill off the lamb allows more even roasting; I do this when roasting any piece of meat. Place in a roasting pan, fat side up.
Roast lamb for 20 to 25 minutes for rare to medium rare. Internal temp for rare is 125 – 130 degrees F; medium rare is 130-140. Remove rack from the pan and let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes so juices resorb. (Nothing is worse than cutting into a roast only to have all those lovely juices spill out onto the cutting board)!
Slice and serve.
Now if I could only get Ken to stop eating them as finger food!