Rosemary-Crusted Rack of Lamb
  • 2 racks of lamb, 1 1⁄2 pounds each
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup red wine
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted beef, veal or lamb stock
Time Estimates

Prep time: 30 min  

Cook time: 25 min  

Total time: 55 min  


  1. Trim the excess fat from the side of the racks opposite the bones; for the easiest eating and the leanest cut, remove the entire “cap,” the thin flap of meat spreading out parallel to the rib bones, as well as all the attached fat. For Frenched racks, cut crosswise down to the bone about 11⁄2 inches in from the tips, then cut between the bones to remove all the meat between the bones from there out to the tips.
  2. Chop the rosemary and garlic together finely (by hand or in a food processor) and combine with the bread crumbs, a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  3. Spread the mixture on a plate or in a shallow bowl.
  4. Preheat the oven to 475˚F.
  5. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat a heavy cast-iron or stainless skillet (you can do this in the oven; just remember that the handle will get hot).
  7. Coat the skillet with a thin film of oil and brown the racks for a few minutes on a side, first with the bone side up and then on the edge, with the bones held vertically.
  8. Remove the racks as they are done and add some of the lamb trimmings to the skillet.
  9. Press the meat side of the racks into the bread crumb mixture, and place them bones down in a roasting pan.
  10. Fill in any bare spots with the remaining crumb coating.
  11. Roast to an internal temperature of 125˚F for rare, 130˚ to 140˚F for medium-rare.
While the racks are roasting, prepare the pan sauce:
  1. When the lamb trimmings in the skillet are browned nicely, push them to the side and swab out as much fat as possible with a paper towel.
  2. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze the pan.
  3. Add the stock and boil until reduced by half.
  4. When the racks come out of the oven, transfer them to a cutting board and let rest for a few minutes before carving.
  5. If the drippings in the roasting pan are not too burnt, deglaze the pan with the contents of the skillet, adding a little more water or stock if needed to keep it from boiling dry.
  6. Strain the sauce, let it stand until the fat rises to the top, and discard the fat.
  7. Correct the seasoning.
  8. To serve, slice the racks crosswise into single or double chops, allowing 3 to 4 ribs per serving.
  9. Serve on warmed plates, with a little of the pan sauce spooned around the meat.


Serves 4 to 6

Which beer should I drink with this?

IPA or other pale ale; possibly a dry porter or stout.

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.

Photo: J. McPherson/Flickr