Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Extra Topping

Several years ago, I came across this recipe for rack of lamb. I loved the flavors of the herbs and the mustard with the lamb, and I have been making a version of it ever since. It’s an easy and delicious way to show off for family and friends, or just to treat yourself with on the weekend. My biggest issue was that there was never enough herby bread crumb crust – my favorite part – so as I do with with my Mac-nut crusted fish, I started making extra breading to use as a topping. Today I made two vegetables side dishes – simmered radishes and sautéed mushrooms.

For the lamb, I used:

  • One frenched rack of lamb (I got this one in Costco; they also have them at the regular grocery store sometimes)
  • A handful of finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • Three or four tablespoons of finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Three or four tablespoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • A few cloves of garlic, minced
  • A cup and a half or two of seasoned breadcrumbs
  • A pinch of salt
  • Dijon mustard
  • Whole grain mustard

This was enough lamb for both James and I to have a hearty serving and for some leftovers, but it could feed three or four people if you size down the portions. A note about the herbs – sometimes it is fine to use dried, but for this recipe, I think the fresh herbs are important.  Something about bright, fresh mint with lamb – it just brings it to another level.

I started by trimming some of the fat from the rack – leaving some on, because it is really delicious! The picture above is the rack after trimming. I mixed together the herbs, garlic, seasoned bread crumbs, and salt, and divided the mixture in two. I reserved half for the topping and put the other half on a large dish to crust the lamb. I seared off the lamb in a hot pan, with the fat side down at first. I let the fat render a bit, about four or five minutes, until it was brown, then did it for about 90 seconds each with the bones down, then standing with the ribs up. I brushed on some dijon mustard, then a coating of whole grain mustard, then rolled it in the breadcrumbs. I threw it in the oven at 375F degrees for about 15 minutes, until it hit 115F degrees – I like it rare, but feel free to cook longer depending on your preferences. While I was waiting, I heated the rendered fat (in the pan that I browned the meat in) over medium heat for a few minutes, then added the reserved breadcrumbs and about a tablespoon of whole grain mustard. I cooked the breadcrumbs until toasted, about five minutes. When the lamb was done, I took it out to rest and warm up a few more degrees.

For the radishes, I used:

  • About a pound of radishes, ends trimmed
  • 1/3 stick of salted butter
  • 1 cup of water

This was plenty for two people plus leftovers. I put everything in a pot, brought it to a boil, then simmered, covered, on low until really soft, which took about 25 minutes. So easy, and a really delicious side dish.

For the mushrooms, I used some shiitake and maitakes that I got yesterday at Mitsuwa, which has an incredible mushroom selection. I sautéed them in a little olive oil with some salt, then tossed in some finely chopped rosemary and thyme, to carry the flavor from the herb crust of the lamb into this dish. I cooked them until soft and browned, deglazed with a little cooking sake, waited for the liquid to cook off, and then they were ready to serve.

 

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