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26 December, 2007

Roast Rack of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce


Our Christmas dinner started off with steamed Alaskan crab legs served with lemon and herbed butter. Main course was this beautiful rack of lamb with a mint pesto crust served with red wine sauce. The mint pesto recipe was from Sarah Moulton. If you don't care for mint, you can also use a premade basil pesto. Sides were herbed stuffing, potatoes au gratin and sauteed haricots verts with mushrooms.

I was told it was one of the best holiday meals ever, which needless to say left everyone happily stuffed.

Recipes for the roast lamb and red wine sauce below.

Roast Rack of Lamb with Mint Pesto Crust

1 medium rack of lamb, frenched
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons mint pesto or basil pesto
4 slices white or wheat bread

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush bread slices with butter on both sides. Toast in the oven until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes; turn over and toast 5-6 minutes more. Take out of the oven and cool.

Wash rack of lamb and pat dry. Make diamond pattern slashes on the fatty surface of the lamb so it can better absorb the garlicky pesto. Season generously with freshly ground salt and black pepper.

Pour olive oil into a large saute pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, sear rack of lamb fatty side down, until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.

While rack of lamb is searing, break toasted bread into pieces and run through food processor or blender until turned into fine crumbs.

Transfer seared rack of lamb onto a cutting board and brush generously with mint or basil pesto. Pat with bread crumbs until completely covered. Set aside pan with drippings that you seared lamb in for the wine sauce later.

Transfer into a medium sized oven dish, fatty side up. Place pan in oven and cook for 30 minutes for medium rare or until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.

Remove rack of lamb to cutting board and let rest for three minutes before slicing into individual chops. Serve with herbed stuffing and red wine sauce.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Red Wine Sauce

1/2 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
1/4 teaspoon fresh parsley (optional)

Drain oil from the saute pan that you used to cook the lamb. Over medium high heat, deglaze the pan with red wine sauce, scraping up the flavorful bits in the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and let reduce by half, about 12-15 minutes.

Add beef broth. Return to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes more.

Drizzle sauce over rack of lamb or serve on the side. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

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posted at 10:10 AM by City Muse

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