Spotlight on Rack of Lamb

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mushroom Ragout

Rack of Lamb, a fantastic dish that has been prepared a multitude of ways.  I love lamb for it’s distinct flavor and versatility in the culinary world.  We don’t think much of it here in the United States, but most of the world consumes far less bovine than we do.  It is also interesting to note that if you have an inflammatory disease you should stay away from bovine, but you can still eat lamb!

OK, down to the nitty gritty.  We all know why you’re here, you want to read how we prepare our lamb at Ocean Crest Resort.  We start with New Zealand lamb racks, 16-18 is the spec.  What does 16-18 mean?  It means that each rack is 16-18 ounces.  Of course when we cut the racks down there is a large end and a small end, so we try to come out with 2 even portions.   This means that we might end up with a 5 bone chine and a 3 bone chine instead of tho 4 bone chines.  But I digress, when you order your Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mushroom Ragout, that is when the magic starts.  First we season the lamb with our Ocean Crest Seasoning and sear the lamb in a hot saute pan with a little oil.  After the sear we rub the lamb with Dijon mustard and press it into our herbed panko, then it goes into our convection over to roast.  The roasting time depends on desired doneness and surface to mass ratio of the meat.  It’s not an exact science, but we know that a Medium Rare Rack will need to cook for about 12 minutes.  Medium well will need about 17 minutes.  Keep in mind that these cooking times come after the sear, rub and crust.  That is why it may take a little while to receive your dinner, because we haven’t even gotten into the resting, saucing or plating yet.

After the rack is properly roasted, we remove it from the oven and let it rest.  While the lamb is resting we prepare our plate with the proper accouterments and heat our magic mushroom mix in demi-glace.  Why do we let the meat rest?  When you cook your meat you are raising the temperature inside, as the temperature rises it starts to break the cell walls of the meat which releases the juices.  While this is happening your meat is shrinking because the outer cells broke down first so now the outside of the meat is squeezing the inside of the meat.  If we cut into the meat right away the juices will just run out all over the plate.  But if we let the meat rest, the juices will redistribute themselves and we can cut into it without releasing all the moisture.

Lastly we plate the Rack of Lamb and pour our Mushroom Ragout over the top, letting it cascade down to the plate below.

Have you ever tried the rack of Lamb at our restaurant?  Tell us what you think, and please share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc…