Spring is here! Flowers are in bloom and local farmers markets are opening; the perfect time of year to pick up a rack of lamb. This quick spring meal is complete paired with wilted spinach and a glass of your favorite red wine. If you want to step it up then ask your butcher to french the rack, this is a method of trimming the fat cap away and cleaning the meat, cartilage and fat between the tips of the rib bones, thus exposing the bones and creating a kempt and refined presentation.
I recently received several homegrown chops from one of my friends. (Find local and humanely raised meat in your area at Local Harvest.) She surprised me by cooking the meat without trimming the fat. The lamb was juicy and tender and the fat imparted a bold flavor. We also had the option of eating the fat as it was easy enough to cut away, dare-I-say easier than frenching a raw rack!
If you are yearning for something rustic then simply skip the frenching step and if you want those classic lamb lollipops, you’ll need to put your inner butcher to work! Below you’ll find my favorite way to enjoy lamb chops. If you are unfamiliar with how to make your own garlic paste, don’t fear; check out Honey Dumplings TV for a quick culinary film.
Photo by Victoria Greenstreet
• 2 tablespoons homemade garlic paste (see video below)
• 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 rack of lamb, cut into 8 chops (optional frenched)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Chop the garlic paste into the minced rosemary and put into a shallow bowl.
2. Pour the olive oil over the rosemary garlic paste and stir until well mixed.
3. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper.
4. Coat the lamb with the olive oil garlic paste mixture and marinate in the mixture for 15 minutes at room temperature.
5. Warm a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add the lamb chops and cook to desired doneness, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Serves 2-4
Victoria Greenstreet is inspired by seasonal ingredients. Her focus is whole foods and gluten-free cookery. She is a classically trained chef, freelance food writer, stylist and photographer. She is currently working on her first cookbook. Visit her blog Honey Dumplings for more recipes and culinary adventures.