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updated 12/23/2009 4:54:32 PM ET 2009-12-23T21:54:32

Recipe: Roasted rack of lamb in a red wine sauce

  • For the rack
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 2 well-trimmed, frenched racks of lamb with the chine bone removed (about 1 1/2 lbs trimmed weight without the chine bone)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the sauce
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin-oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti or Barbera
  • 2 cups veal stock or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter

Preheat the oven to 450 F. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and oil and stir to blend.

Brush the lamb racks all over with a little oil.  Heat a roasting pan over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the racks, flesh side does, and sear them for 3 to 4 minutes until nicely browned. 

Turn the racks over and season liberally with salt and pepper to taste.  Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes to cool slightly, then pat the bread crumb mixture on the flesh side.  Cover the tips of the bones with aluminum foil, if desired, and roast the rack, flesh side up, for 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare to medium.  An instant-read thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the roast should measure 125 F for medium-rare and 130 F for medium.

Once the lamb is done, remove the racks from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes before carving.

For the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-high heat for about 1 minute.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 1 minute.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Pour in the red wine and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.  Cook until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir the veal stock, thyme, and rosemary.  Return the liquid to a boil and reduce it over high heat until it reaches a sauce consistency, 15 to 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the sauce through a fine strainer into a small pan.  Whisk in the cold butter and keep warm over low heat.

To serve, cut the racks into individual chops and place 4 chops on each dinner plate.  Spoon sauce over the lamb and serve.


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