For the main course of our Christmas Eve dinner, I roasted rosemary/garlic/lemon-crusted racks of lamb. I found very nice, trimmed, Frenched racks of lamb at our local supermarket — Swedish lamb — very fresh and lovely. I bought the equivalent of 2 full racks (each rack I bought were split into two, made smaller than I’m used to in the US). The marinade itself is very simple yet extremely flavorful. Personally, I think the most important thing when roasting a rack of lamb is using a good thermometer, so that you could cook it to your desired temperature. This dish was a smashing success, and felt very suitable for our main course for Christmas Eve (and would be great for dinner parties in general).
ROSEMARY/GARLIC/LEMON-CRUSTED RACK OF LAMB
- 2 full racks of lamb, trimmed and Frenched
- 8 sprigs rosemary
- 2 handfuls of parsley
- 12 garlic cloves
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Season the racks with salt and pepper.
In a food processor, make the marinade: blend the rosemary, parsley, garlic cloves, zest and juice of lemons, as well as olive oil. I only have a small food processor in our Stockholm apartment, so I made the marinade in 2 batches.
Coat the racks with 1/2 of the marinade; set aside the other 1/2 marinade to use later. Cover the racks and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
Take out the lamb 1 hour before cooking to bring back to room temperature. Scrape off the marinade from the chops as much as you can (but don’t throw the marinade away — you could use it to re-coat the lamb when you roast.)
Preheat the oven to 400F (about 200C).
In a medium skillet/pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the lamb to the skillet, fat side down, and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the lamb fat side up and cook for 2 minutes longer.
Transfer the lamb racks onto a roasting pan. Let cool a little bit, and coat the lamb racks with the remaining 1/2 of the marinade. Place in the oven and roast the racks for about 20 minutes, until the thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 125° for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into chops.