Mediterranean Rack of Lamb – Christmas Eve Eve Dinner (Dec 2009)

Dinner Menu

Mediterranean Rack  of Lamb

Couscous with shrimp

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Bell Peppers

Sparkling Cider

Mediterranean Rack of Lamb

1 or 2 Racks of lamb

3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (just the leaves)

1/4 cup of fresh oregano

1/2 cup lemon

1/2 cup olive oil

Now, I have always been intimidated by a Rack of Lamb. Unnecessarily though as I found it to be an easy dish to prepare. The secret is in the marinade. A good cut of meat does help – that being said, I purchased my Rack of Lamb at Sam’s.

Preparing the marinade (the day before)

To start, we need to make a wet rub/marinade to slather on the lamb. For that: Combine the garlic, rosemary, oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper in either a small chopper, blender or food processor. Once the herbs are all mixed together and finely chopped, add the olive oil and lemon juice to it. Now, place the lamb in a baking dish or a container where you can lay it flat. Pour the marinade evenly around the lamb. Make certain that both sides are covered well. Once that is done, if you have extra rosemary springs, I would add a couple of sprigs in the dish. Not necessary though. Cover the dish and let the lamb marinade in the refrigerator at least overnight.

Roasting the Lamb

This is a step that needs to be saved for just 30 minutes before serving. These are just basic instructions. Your cooking times are going to vary depending on your oven and how heavy your meat is and how rare or well-done you like your lamb. I was cooking this on a High Broil setting and I cooked 2 Racks of Lamb.

Broil the rack of lamb about 6 inches from the heat for 10 minutes (According to Ina Garten’s recipe and it worked well for me). I lowered the lamb to the second rack but left the Broil for another 10. It really depends on how well done you want it. (Keep a close eye on the oven and the lamb. at that high heat, it can overcook easily).  It should be ready the first 10 minutes after it broils. You may want to add another 5 it looks too pink. For lamb, the best thing to do is use a meat thermometer so there is no guessing involved. Once you remove it from the oven, you should cover it with foil (nice and tight) and let it sit for at least 10 – 15 minutes before cutting it to serve.

I served it with a yogurt mint sauce. It was a great hit with my husband and little boy. As embarrassed as I am to say it, we ate just about all of it by ourselves and it was just the 3 of us!!!

Hope this inspires you to try the recipe. In the interest of full disclosure, this is a base Ina Garten recipe that I have modified slightly.

Yogurt Mint Sauce

2-3 green onions (diced – only the white part)

1 cup fresh mint leaves (chopped)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice from one lemon

Greek style yogurt (start with 1 cup and you can add up to 1/2 cup depending on how it tastes)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Now, you can go 2 ways with this. If you do not like a sauce with chunky stuff in it, go ahead and use a food processor. Make a paste with all the ingredients (Except the yogurt). Add the paste to the yogurt and mix it well.

If you don’t mind something chunky in your sauce, use a blender or a shopper and combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl. And don’t forget the salt and pepper to taste!

Note: If for any reason you don’t like yogurt, you can always try it with sour cream and creme fraiche.