Short answer. No, it’s not. And if you stick with me, I will explain to you everything, so the rack of lamb recipe becomes super easy for you.
And what if today we make the herb-crusted rack of lamb recipe?
Yes, it is a bit expensive, but I hope you’ll find the occasion to cook this recipe.
I bet you saw somewhere those greenish-breaded chops, a bit red inside (medium cooked), with mint sauce, and different roasted vegetables. Soooo good! And looks so colorful and yummy!
So you agree? Okay, let’s do this.
At first, I was very concerned about this dish. C’mon, it’s a rack of lamb recipe, not a chicken that I made hundreds of times.
And if you overcook it, which is very easy, it has no color, meat is tough and chewy. You don’t want that.
I bet you feel the same now.
Like, c’mon, Meda, I can’t do that… Too complicated…
But. I’m here to help. I read a lot and somehow succeeded in making it from the first time.
So if you read this whole article and follow my steps, I believe you can make it even better than me!
First, let’s see the recipe.
Ingredients (for two)
- 1 rack of lamb
- salt & pepper
- 2tbsp canola oil or another oil that you use at home, except for olive oil
- bunch of fresh thyme
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2tbsp (don’t be greedy) unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- panko breadcrumbs (about 1/2 cup or more, depends on what color you want)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch Cayenne pepper (optional)
Roasted vegetables (quantity depends on how much you eat):
I like cutting potatoes in wedges and then parsnips and carrots into similar size wedges or halves. This recipe’s timing is based on these cuts.
This recipe has 2 parts:
- Sauce and herbed breadcrumbs
- Vegetables and rack of lamb
Prepare sauce and herbed breadcrumbs.
All you need to do for the sauce is chop fresh mint leaves, garlic cloves and mix all ingredients together. That’s it!
Of course, don’t forget to taste after you put pepper, salt, or lemon juice.
All human beings’ taste is different, and what is tasty for me, for instance, more salt and cayenne, may not be the same for you.
You have no idea how many times I oversalted food. Well.. for me it was good, but others didn’t like it much.
Let’s move on!
Chop basil, parsley, grate the parmesan and mix it with panko for the herbed breadcrumbs. If you want fine texture, use the food processor. And if you wish for a more greenish color, add fewer breadcrumbs.
See? This part was super easy! Believe me, with me, the next part won’t be difficult too. Challenging, yes, but not hard.
In this part, we have two challenges:
- Finish cooking vegetables and lamb at the same time.
- Cook rack of lamb to medium or medium-well (if you like it better), but absolutely not well-done.
Both vegetables and rack of lamb take 20 minutes to cook.
Firstly, heavily season the rack of lamb with salt and pepper and let it sit while you’re dealing with vegetables.
On the side, have fresh thyme, garlic cloves, breadcrumbs, mustard, and butter. They have to be already waiting.
Now you can peel and season your vegetables.
*Now listen carefully. You can either roast vegetables in the oven or in the pan. For the easiest way to succeed, use the oven.
I like complicated stuff in life… so… why not the pan and trying to catch the time as well as not to overcook?
Anyway, succeeding in lamb, not vegetables, should make your day.
So now, when you know what you’ll be doing with vegetables (use some herbs, garlic, and butter as well), let’s get to the lamb.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Place the pan on the stove, turn the heat on, and make it smoking hot. Then pour the oil.
- Place the lamb in the pan and sear until golden-brown on all sides on high heat. Then add butter, thyme, and garlic. When butter melts, tilt the pan, and, with a spoon, base the lamb with delicious flavored butter; just for a minute.
- In a baking tin, place garlic and thyme from the pan on the bottom, and lamb on top. Put it in the oven for exactly 4 minutes.
- Quickly take it out. Spread the mustard on the lamb on all sides. But not too much! Find the balance. Then place the rack of lamb in the breadcrumbs to cover the rack on all sides.
- Quickly place it in the oven again for 4 more minutes.
- Take it out and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Now it’s all ready to go! Take the vegetables, sauce from the fridge, cut the lamb into chops, and do some nice plating on your beautiful plate.
I really hope you succeeded in making it medium. You should taste moist and tender meat, the sauce that compliments the lamb and gives some freshness. Just perfect!
And I bet, if it’s medium, you see pink color in the middle of the lamb.
And now, let’s get to the serious stuff.
Today’s star is the lamb, and we have to know all about it.
I will keep it simple. Questions – answers. If you have more questions, please let me know. I would be more than happy to answer them and help YOU become MASTER in the kitchen.
What do we want from this rack of lamb recipe?
- 63°C, which means medium.
- Golden-brown color after searing.
- Green, not brown breadcrumbs when it’s done.
- Thyme, butter, and garlic aroma.
Why do we have to sear it first? What is the Maillard reaction?
These two questions are very connected. When we sear the meat or anything with proteins, we create that delicious looking and tasting golden-brown color, which is the consequence of the Maillard reaction.
Maillard reaction is a chemical process when amino acids from the proteins react with sugar at high heat and create compounds, which we identify as delicious aroma and flavor.
The key here is proteins, not sugar.
What does happen when we base a rack of lamb with flavored butter?
First, we don’t let the meat’s exterior dry out.
Second, while the bottom is cooking using the pan’s heat and hot fat, basing helps us cook the top.
Third, we infuse the lamb with buttery, garlic, and thyme notes.
To be honest, now when I think about it, all meats that I pan-fried in the past without this flavored basing were so bland…
Did you know that flavor is a combination of taste and aroma? Then how, without a delicious smell, could we feel the flavor?
Maybe you are looking for a solution to the same problem?
Why are we doing a 4min oven – breadcrumbs – 4min oven?
Very simple. We don’t want breadcrumbs to burn. That’s it.
4 minutes can make your steak from medium to well done. The same 4 minutes is enough to make the breadcrumbs from greenish-green to brownish-green.
Why is resting so crucial?
I’ll start from the beginning. For instance, I will take a steak. But the same stands for the rack of lamb recipe.
When we make a steak, the highest temperature is on the exterior. While we continue to cook it, the heat makes its way to the inside. So the temperature through the whole steak is not even.
The browned exterior keeps the moisture inside. But it is not evenly distributed as well.
Consequently, resting helps temperature and moisture distribute evenly. It gives time for a steak to relax, creating the same temperature everywhere.
And if you ever noticed, all the liquid from the steak stays inside.
One more thing*
Have you ever wondered why the meat is so tough? Yeah… I had this question in my head for a long time too… And every time I failed, it made me so angry…
You always need to remember that while resting, the internal temperature is rising. You have to take the steak away from the heat when it’s missing about 3-5°C, to reach the wanted temperature.
For example, if you want 63°C, you have to let it rest when it reaches 58°C. If you take it out when it’s at 63°C, after 5 minutes of resting, it will be well done, and you’re not gonna be satisfied with the result.
You have no idea how many times I failed with that… I don’t want you to make the same mistakes…
I hope I gave you enough information to create this fantastic dish. I’m sure that you won’t regret this and will be surprised by your skills.
Please send me all the pictures you made of this dish and ask me questions if you wish to figure something out. I’m with you on this journey!