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December, 2009

Perfect Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallot and Thyme Crust

By Heidi Allison

If you can’t afford prime rib this year and want something more sophisticated than roast poultry, give this elegant dish a shot!

Perfect Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallots, Fig and Thyme Crust
If you can’t afford prime rib this year and want something more sophisticated than roast poultry, serve this elegant dish, Roast Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallots and Thyme Crust. It is also the perfect go-to recipe if you’re culinary challenged –with minimal effort this goof-proof recipe assures perfect results every time—the only caveat is keep tract of the roasting time. From a chef’s point of view, the caramelized shallot, fig and balsamic vinegar are perfect flavor foils to enhance the slightly gamey flavor of this meat. However, the real secret to the success of this recipe is using an herbed crust—this technique not only keeps the meat from drying out but also delivers a perfect medium-rare temperature that is often so hard to achieve without having professional skills.

If you can’t find balsamic fig vinegar, just add two fresh figs (or 1 dried) to ½ cup of well-aged balsamic vinegar and blend till combined. The finished vinegar’s taste transforms into a rich, slightly sweet and fruity flavor that perfectly complements the taste of New Zealand grass-feed lamb!

Perfect Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallots, Fig and Thyme Crust

Ingredients:
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
3 large shallots, minced (about ½ cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. Fig and Balsamic vinegar
½ cup unseasoned packaged, dry bread crumbs,
1 ½ tsp. fresh chopped thyme leaves
1 rack of lamb (7-8 ribs), Frenched, room temperature (New Zealand grass-fed)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400º. In a small bowl, heat olive oil over moderate and sweat chopped shallots with salt and pepper until golden, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar and reduce until liquid is evaporated. Remove skillet from heat and add bread crumbs and stir in thyme; then place in a bowl and set aside.

Season the lamb t with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a heavy, cast-iron 10-inch skillet and sear lamb on all sides till brown. Transfer to plate and let cool to room temperature. Place ribs in a parchment paper- lined small roasting pan, rib side down, and rub mustard over all sides of the meat. Pat with seasoned bread crumbs and encase the meat. Place the lamb in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the meat from the oven allow to sit for an additional 10 minutes to let the juices return to the center of the meat. Slice the meat into chops and serve immediately with a fresh micro-green and spicy fresh radish salad.