Rack of Lamb is so elegant and surprisingly effortless to prepare. Cooked properly, it is tender, full of flavor, and a showstopper on your dining table. The average American, however, eats less than one pound of lamb per year. It is true, it is pricey, tricky to cook, and some say it is an acquired taste. Rack of lamb is to lamb what prime rib is to beef and it is one of the milder flavored cuts of lamb. Be sure to buy a “frenched” rack of lamb. This simply means that the bones are trimmed of fat and exposed – ready for the oven.
The combination of Dijon mustard, herbs and a delectable panko parmesan crust makes this one of my favorite preparations and has been known to convert many who think they do not like lamb. For many Italians, Easter without lamb on their table is unimaginable! Savor this incredible rack of lamb with a glass of red wine and imagine yourself in the open air, under a flowering arbor in Italy in the springtime!
Panko Parmesan Crusted Rack of Lamb
- 1½ to 1¾ pounds rack of lamb
- Kosher salt
- 4-5 grinds fresh black pepper
Dijon Herb Mixture
- 1 egg beaten (you will only use one scant tablespoon)
- 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram or oregano, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Panko Parmesan Crust
- ⅓ cup fine breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano cheese
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Remove the lamb from refrigerator one hour before cooking and trim some of the excess fat. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and black pepper and let rest at room temperature for one hour. This is important to ensure even cooking.
- Combine the Dijon Herb ingredients, using only 1 scant tablespoon of the beaten egg, and set aside.
- Combine the Panko Parmesan Crust ingredients and set aside.
- Line a sheet pan with tin foil for easier clean-up and place an oven safe rack on the foil. No oven safe rack? No worries. You can cook the lamb directly on the foil lined sheet pan.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400° convection.
- Spread the Dijon Herb mixture over the lamb on both sides and the ends. The back of a spoon works well for this. Depending on the size of your rack of lamb, you might not need all of the Dijon mixture. You need a thin layer only. If you put too much, your panko crust will not stay on the meat.
- Pat the panko mixture over the top and ends of the lamb rack, pressing onto the meat well.
- Roast for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 120°. Roast for approximately 22 minutes for rare, or about 25 minutes for medium rare. I usually get a reading of about 120° at the 22-minute mark, which is perfect because the temperature will go up about another 5 degrees during resting. If the lamb is getting too brown, tent it loosely with foil.
- Remove from oven, cover loosely with tin foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Carry-over cooking will raise the temperature of the meat another 5 degrees. Resting the meat is necessary! Don’t skip this step. This redistributes the juices throughout the meat. There will be carry-over cooking during this time. So, remove the meat before it reaches desired temperature.