Cooking Lamb Racks: Easier than you think!

Lamb racks, lamb chops, lamb loin — all basically the same thing, with the only difference being how/when it’s butchered. In all cases, we’re talking about the loin of the lamb. Lamb chops are cross-sections of the loin, and can be cut/served with the bone attached (sometimes called lamb lollipops) or bone-off (sometimes referred to as medallions). A rack of lamb refers to a loin with the bones still intact. Usually, the bones away from the loin will be stripped bare, or Frenched, as pictured below.

Lamb is arguably the most underrated commercially available meat. It’s extremely flavorful, far less-fatty than beef, and if I had to choose between the two, I’m going with lamb every time. While all of these things are open to debate, what I think is pretty certain is that lamb racks are exceptionally easy to cook — here’s how!

For starters, smash up some garlic and rub it all over the meat with some fresh thyme sprigs (I didn’t have any 😖), then season with fresh ground pepper.

Then, put in an airtight bag (or as close as you can get to it), covered in olive oil.

It can be stored refrigerated like this to marinate for as long as you like — if completely covered in oil, with no oxygen present, it can last weeks! I, however, let it refrigerate for only a couple hours.

Whenever you’re ready for cooking, remove the lamb from the bag, and wipe off any excess garlic. Salt both sides of the meat, and preheat oven to 400ºF.

Place a stainless steel pan on medium-high heat. Add cooking oil to the pan, and start off by placing the rack(s) in the pan with the bones point upward.

If you’re cooking two, you can lean them against each other to stand.

Once that side is seared nice and brown, lay them down to sear the flat side.

The bones can be laced together to save space in the pan.

In the meantime, prepare a foil-lined sheet tray with a roasting rack, sprayed with cooking spray.

It’s fine if you don’t have a roasting rack — just spray the foiled pan.

Once nicely seared, remove the lamb racks from the pan to the roasting rack.

Put in oven, and cook until internal temperature is just under 110ºF (for me, it took about twelve minutes).

Allow about five minutes for the meat to rest before slicing.

As you can see, this might result in the area by the bone not being as cooked as you might like. To address this, I put the lamb back on the roasting rack, bone-side up, and put it under the broiler for about two minutes.

To slice, cut in between each rib. There’s space between each bone at the throughout the length, but the shape of the bone gets… interesting at the bottom. If you feel around with your knife you can cut through either way.

Keep in mind the pieces on the end will be a bit more well-cooked than in the middle.

Add a pinch of sea salt once they’re cut, and they are ready to eat!

Pictured here, topped with tabouli, served over curried cauliflower

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