lamb rack in parmesan crust
Mon, 15 December, 2014
Arguably the best cut of lamb, it is best French trimmed and roasted for a short while, with just salt and pepper for seasoning.
Or so I used to believe.
The French trim superiority myth was shattered rather spectacularly one day when the Male of the House was sent off to the butcher’s. As the tale goes, when asked if the rack is to be French trimmed, he hesitantly said ‘no’, sensibly thinking he was going to be short-changed on expensive meat cut if it gets trimmed. Coming back home triumphantly, he met with a barrage of scorn and abuse for his supposed error of judgement.
And guess what? The French trimmed bits off the bone on a rack of lamb are the best morsels as it turned out. So I was forced to humbly take it all back and apologise. Between you and me though: it was serendipity rather than wisdom.
So I do now try to buy untrimmed rack, with the exception of when the lamb is getting late in the season, i.e.: fatty. That's why the recipe below calls for a trimmed rack after all.
Now the simple seasoning I still do believe in but this time I wanted to try a coating of herbs and parmesan. And it does work – didn’t even fall off much while carving. I would just say – don’t put too much breadcrumbs on, stick to herbs and hard cheese – it will be much tastier.
lamb rack in parmesan crustTime: 1 hour 10 minutes
- 1 6-bone French-trimmed rack of lamb for two people
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 3-4 heaped tbsp. grated Parmesan
- 1 tbsp. breadcrumbs
- 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
- grated zest of 1 lemon
1. Score the skin on the lamb rack with a sharp knife on the diagonal. Mix the mustard with the honey and spread all over the lamb except bones.
2. Strip the leaves off the rosemary and chop really fine, almost to a powder. Grate lemon zest and the parmesan and whizz it with the rosemary and the breadcrumbs in a blender or food processor. You can just mix it all together in a bowl but whizzing breaks up the breadcrumbs and makes for a more uniform coating. Tip onto a shallow dish.
3. Dip the lamb rack in the herb and parmesan crumbs making sure the coating sticks well, press it on with your fingers.
4. Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/gas 9.
5. Place the lamb rack on a baking tray, skin side up and roast for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 180C/350F/gas 4 and roast for further 20-25 minutes (roasting time after the initial 10 minute blast should be 15 minutes per pound, provided your lamb had been brought to room temperature). Let it rest in a warm place for at least 10 minutes.