How to cook a rack of lamb

How to cook a rack of lamb

How to cook a rack of lamb

Also known as the 'best end of neck', rack of lamb is the most expensive cut of lamb, and certainly one of the most regularly cooked. Rack of lamb is a perfect choice if you're planning to impress people at a dinner party!

If you're planning to cook one of our rack of lamb recipes, it pays to know what you're looking for when you drop in to see your local butcher. Your butcher will generally offer to prepare your rack of lamb for you, but if not, ask for your lamb to be 'French trimmed'. This means the meat and sinew around the bones is removed and the bones are scraped clean – it's a bit of a laborious process but important, as any stray bits of meat on the bone will burn when you cook the lamb, leaving you with black marks on your clean white bones. A rack of lamb generally serves two to three people, so plan accordingly.

Lamb is often regarded as heavy but a rack rarely is – it’s a tender cut with a delicate flavour that would suffocate in a rich sauce; infused butter, light Indian spices and accompaniments such as summer vegetables and ratatouille are ideal.

Lamb rack is best seared in a pan and finished in the oven – this gives you lots of control over your cooking temperatures but still gives you a nice caramelisation on the surface of the meat. Be sure to remove the meat from the fridge before cooking so it can come to room temperature.

This simple method for cooking a rack of lamb should ensure a beautifully caramelised crust and juicy pink meat within. Always season lamb with plenty of salt and pepper to bring out its wonderful flavour.

Method

1
Heat the oven to 190˚C/gas mark 5
2
Place a large frying pan over a high heat
3
Season the rack and place it in the pan fat-side down. Cook until golden brown
4
Quickly sear on the other side for 1 minute
5
Transfer to a wire rack and place in the oven over a baking tray
6
Check after 8 minutes by inserting a metal skewer close to the bone – it should be warm to the touch for pink meat. If it isn’t cooked, return to the oven for 2 minutes before checking again
7
Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest for at least 5 minutes

Variations

Alfred Prasad marinates his lamb with a mixture of Indian herbs and spices 15 minutes prior to cooking, while Matthew Tomkinson coats his lamb rack with mustard and a herb crust for an added texture.