The creme-de-la-creme of lamb cuts – pan-roasting the rack is one of the best (and easiest) ways to enjoy this showcase cut!
This recipe was adapted from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s wonderful recipe book, “The Food Lab”. He notes that, although a rack of lamb is technically a roast, it’s actually much more useful to think of it as a steak (proportions and composition are more similar) – so you can do it much the same way as you would a butter basted steak – skip the oven and roast it in a moderately hot pan on the stovetop. The only tricky part, due to the curvature of the bones, is that it’s basically impossible to get good contact with the skillet on the inside curve of the bones. Therefore, rely on cooking them by basting them with hot fat…yum.
For best results, let rack rest uncovered in the fridge overnight, after seasoning (see step 1). For faster results, season immediately before cooking, skipping the 45-minute post-salt resting phase. If resting it at all after salting it, do not let it stand for any less than 45 minutes. Once again, use of a digital thermometer is the best way to assess doneness!
Servings: 2-4 people
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 1 8-10 rib Fresh Roots Farm Grassfed Rack of Lamb (about 2 lbs) Split into 2 half-racks
- black pepper freshly ground
- 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 1 medium shallot roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper on all sides. Set on a plate and let rest at room temperature for at least 45 minutes, and up to 2 hours (see Note above).
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Lay the lamb racks in the pan, fat side down, and cook, turning occassionally, and basting regularly with the browned butter (tobaste, tilt the pan toward you so that the butter pools at the bottom and spoon the butter over the lamb, taking care to hit any underbrowned spots repeatedly), until the lamb is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each rack section registers 120F for medium-rare, or 130F for medium, 3 to 7 minutes longer. Transfer the lamb racks to a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and let rest for 5 minutes.
- To serve, reheat the fat in skillet until smoking and pour over the lamb to warm it. Carve and serve immediately.
Fresh Roots Farm Grassfed Rack of Lamb is currently only available by purchasing a whole or a half lamb, and is made upon request (instead of rib chops or cutlets). The cut is valued at $14.00/lb, one rack is approx. 2 lbs.