Sunday, February 5, 2012

Classic Rack of Lamb with Garlic, Parsley, and Bread Crumbs

Readers, if you've noticed a drop-off in posting frequency over the last couple months, there's a good reason: we're expecting our second child in July and I've found I just don't have quite my usual level of energy, especially at the end of the day when it's time to make dinner. But I'm still managing to try a few new things here and there.

Here's one of them. This is a classic preparation, which I've adapted from Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything. Parsley potatoes make an excellent accompaniment, and a glass of red wine would definitely not go amiss. And yes, fresh parsley is available from local growers at this time of year, as it is very cold hardy and takes beautifully to the unheated greenhouse or cold frame.

2 racks of lamb (about 1 1/2 - 2 lbs total)
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 - 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Rinse the lamb and pat dry. Starting at the bony end, make slices about halfway down between the ribs toward the meaty end. Place the racks in a 9x13-inch baking pan, meaty side up. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and garlic in a bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and stir well. Spread this mixture generously over the meaty side of the racks.

Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. If your racks are on the smaller side (under 1 lb each) this is likely to be enough to cook them to a nice medium rare. You can check the temperature by sliding a meat thermometer in one end, straight toward the middle. You want the racks done to at least 125 degrees (but not much more). If they are not quite to 125, you can pop them back in the oven for no more than another couple minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 3-4.

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