Dec 19, 2016

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Prep Time: 2 hrs
Cook Time: 10 mins
This rack of lamb with its savory combination of herbs, mustard and breadcrumbs makes for either the perfect appetizer or an impressive holiday entrée.

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This rack of lamb with its savory combination of herbs, mustard and breadcrumbs makes for either the perfect appetizer or an impressive holiday entrée. As an entree, it can be served alongside simple roasted vegetables. With the bones attached it looks as elegant as a whole roast but it takes significantly less time to cook. While this recipe takes a little time to marinate it is worth the wait – it makes for flavorful, juicy meat. Grilling the lamb adds a nice crust to the outside while the tender meat is a bright pink medium-rare.

I love coming up with new and crazy recipes but there is just something wonderful about using tried and true traditional recipes as well. Traditions are a funny thing, as often you don’t know how they started but they just come to be. My dad always makes this dish for special occasions like Christmas and it’s always a hit.

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

rosemary thyme rack of lamb holiday cooking with holly and cranberries

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Rack of lamb – When ordering the rack of lamb you can ask the butcher to “french” cut them. This means cutting away the layer of muscle and fat that extends to the end of the rib bones. You can also do this yourself by making a crosswise cut all the way across the fatty top side of the rib bones (about 1 ½” above the rib bones) and then cutting away the strips of meat between the rib bones by cutting along the inner edges of the bones.
  • Fresh herbs – This recipe is seasoned with chopped parsley, thyme and rosemary.
  • Garlic – I always use fresh cloves of garlic, the pre-minced jars of garlic don’t taste the same. It loses a lot of the powerful garlic flavor when it’s jarred. This is because it has been soaked in water for a long period of time. Peeling garlic only takes a bit. As the garlic is sautéed the flavor mellows so it’s not very pungent but adds a base flavor.
  • Dijon – Dijon has a mellow mustard flavor with a balanced taste which also works to tenderize the lamb. 
herb crusted rack of lamb

How to Cook Rack of Lamb

  1. Make the herb rub. In a small bowl stir together garlic, parsley, thyme, and rosemary until combined, then set aside. In another small mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, mustard and cumin until thoroughly combined.
  2. Season lamb and marinate. Lay the racks of lamb out of a cutting board and rub both sides with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Evenly spread the herb mixture over the lamb racks. Place in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to overnight.
  3. Let lamb come to room temperature. When ready to cook, bring the rack of lamb to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Heat grill to 450ºF (230ºC).
  4. Dredge the rack of lamb. Fill a large, shallow bowl with the breadcrumbs and dredge each side of the lamb in the breadcrumbs.
  5. Grill the lamb. Use aluminum foil to cover the top end of the bones on the rack of lamb. This keeps the bones from burning before the meat is done cooking. Grill the lamb until the internal temperature reaches 130ºF (54ºC), for medium rare, about 10 minutes on each side.
  6. Rest and serve. Remove the racks of lamb from the grill, discard the aluminum foil and let rest on a platter for at least 10 minutes. Cut the lamb between the bones into individual chops. Serve the herb crusted rack of lamb immediately.
presentation herb crusted rack of lamb on white platter with holly

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this rack of lamb recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

rack of lamb on the grill

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Print Pin
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (8-rib) racks of lamb (each rack about 1 ½ pounds), frenched
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs

Instructions:

  • In a small bowl stir together garlic, parsley, thyme, and rosemary until combined, then set aside. In another small mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil, mustard and cumin until thoroughly combined.
  • Lay the racks of lamb out of a cutting board and rub both sides with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Evenly spread the herb mixture over the lamb racks. Place in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to overnight.
  • When ready to cook, bring the rack of lamb to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Heat grill to 450ºF (230ºC).
  • Fill a large, shallow bowl with the breadcrumbs and dredge each side of the lamb in the breadcrumbs.
  • Use aluminum foil to cover the top end of the bones on the rack of lamb. This keeps the bones from burning before the meat is done cooking. Grill the lamb until the internal temperature reaches 130ºF / 54ºC (for medium rare), about 10 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the racks of lamb from the grill, discard the aluminum foil and let rest on a platter for at least 10 minutes. Cut the lamb between the bones into individual chops and serve immediately.

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