Try this easy to prepare Rack of Lamb in less than 60 minutes. It’s ideal for Valentine’s Day. I had this dish for New Year’s dinner. I know it’s a bit late, yet I didn’t plan to post it on my blog, either. I love the taste of a grilled rack of lamb. It can can be cooked in so many ways, the possibilities are endless. Lamb never gets boring, that said if you like lamb. Well I guess you wouldn’t be reading this if you don’t like lamb for that matter.
Ideal for Valentine’s Day
If both of you are meat lovers than this dish is great for Valentine’s Day. It’s easy to cook and assemble and makes an even better presentation. So why not surprise your Valentine with a grilled rack of lamb. Serve it with a Pinot Noir, Rioja, Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon. Regardless of what wine you’ll be drinking, use that same wine in your sauce. Why? Because it will make your taste-buds dance in harmony, literally. Like to learn more about wine? Check out my three wine pairing principles.
Rosemary the Perfect Match for Lamb
Rosemary reminds me of a tradition I used to do in my first years of working as a chef. I would place a few bunches of rosemary on the hot grill. Guess what happened? The scent of the roasting rosemary permeated the entire kitchen, calming my senses for a busy upcoming lunch business.
With or Without Bone?
Don’t like the bone? Just ask your butcher for a lamb loin. Usually one loin is good for one person. When buying a rack of lamb – tell your butcher you want it frenched. Which means that all fat around the bones (the rips) up to the loin is removed. It lends for a better presentation. ( the rack of lamb I used was not frenched )
Need a timesaver? Leave the marinade out; brush a little oil over the meat, season it with salt, pepper and chopped rosemary. Grill or saute it over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Place it on a backing pan and cook in the preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for another 8-15 minutes, depending on your temperature preference. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. To learn more about cooking temperatures jump over to: How to cook the perfect steak.
I always finish cooking bigger cuts of meat ( more than 8 oz ) in the oven, after I give it some grill marks. The heat of the oven penetrates the meat more evenly yet indirectly, which results in a juicier steak. Almost all chefs of steakhouses and other fine restaurants take advantage of the oven when it comes to bigger cuts of meat.
I find it fascinating how every country has its own culinary cultures, not only with lamb but with any other meat. Whether it’s Ireland and the famous mint jelly. Asia with soy or teriyaki sauce and the Caribbean and India where curries are prevalent. Lamb is cooked more in Europe and America while goat is traditionally preferred in Asian and Caribbean countries. Why the latter countries choose goat over lamb I have no idea. Maybe you have the answer? Drop me a line if you care. I can only tell from experiences while cooking in the Caribbean, that almost all locals eat goat. That said lamb and goat are two different species.
Which Lamb Tastes Best
Well that’s up to your personal taste preference. The two biggest importer to the US are New Zealand and Australia. Both offer excellent meats. I like to buy locally grown lamb, so I know where it comes from and what it was fed. For more info on lamb in the US check out the fact sheet of the usda.gov website.
How to Cut a Rack of Lamb
It is actually pretty easy. Hold the rack upright with the curved rips pointing slightly towards you. Place a sharp knife next to the bone and cut straight down with a sawing motion. If you hit cartilage or bone you simply have to turn the rack around ( 180 ° ). Important is that you keep the knife as close as possible to the bone. When done right your knife goes through the lamb very easy. That’s it. Just let the lamb rest for a minute and serve.
How do you like your lamb prepared?
Where do you buy your lamb?
What herbs do you use with lamb?
What are you cooking for Valentines Day?
Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir infused Honey Rosemary Sauce
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
2 Rack of lamb
Some Vegetable oil for sauteing
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
1 tbsp fresh thyme leafs
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper
3 sprigs of rosemary
1-2 tsp honey
1/2 cup of good Pinot Noir
1 tsp tomato paste
1.5 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper
Keep some extra rosemary sprigs for decoration.
In a food processor blend all ingredients until smooth.
Smother the lamb with mustard marinade and let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator.
Roasting the [url:1]Lamb[/url]
Before sauteing remove the marinade, but hold on to it for later.
Heat up oil in heavy bottom pan over high heat. Don’t let it smoke. (It isn’t healthy)
Place rack of lamb on its meaty side first. Do this with a pair of tongs so you don’t burn your self.
Saute lamb until golden brown than turn onto the other side.
Once lamb is golden brown place it on an oven pan and cook in the preheated oven at 375 Fahrenheit or 190 Celsius for 8-15 minutes.
For a rare lamb cook less and for well done cook more than 15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
Use the same pan you just seared the lamb in.
Over medium heat sautee onions until slightly caramelized.
Add rosemary sprigs, honey and stir – enjoy the scent 🙂
De-glace with red wine.
Now incorporate the tomato paste and let it brown evenly.
Add a tbsp of the marinade to the sauce.
Fill up with vegetable broth reduce to half.
Strain sauce and season with salt and pepper.
If you wish you could thicken the sauce with a little heavy cream (2 tbsp) at the end. Suggestion: Serve the lamb with sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes.
2-3 lbs of chicken bones and scraps
or 1 whole chicken
3.5 qt of water or enough water to cover bones
1 large carrot
1/2 stalk of celery
Cut all vegetables in 2 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
A hand full of parsley including stems
3-4 sprigs of thyme
1 Tbsp salt
A cook’s best friend is definitely the stock whether it is made from chicken, beef, or fish. It is a fundamental recipe used in the professional kitchen. It always elevates the taste of your recipes, due to its unmistakable flavor. Not to mention that it will make your life a lot easier. It is very simple to cook a stock and the process is always the same regardless of what type of meat, game or poultry is used. If you don’t have enough bones as described above, substitute it by using a whole chicken, which you could use later for a chicken fricassee. Important is that cold water is used to start the chicken stock, that principle remains the same for other stocks whether it is beef or fish. Why cold water? The bones and the remaining meat on the bones will release its flavor into the water where as hot water seals the meat and fewer flavors are released. The vegetables used in this stock are called mirepoix, which consist of chopped onions, carrots and celery. When I cook at home I try to prepare more stock than I need for the day so I can use it the next day.
The herbs used for this stock are called bouquet garni and usually consist of parsley, thyme and bay leaves. Depending on the application rosemary or sage and other herbs can be added.
Tip: If you plan to serve your stock as a standalone dish such as a clear chicken soup substitute the chopped onions with one or two charred onions. Do this by cutting a whole onion in half and placing it in a pan without oil on medium heat until the onion is charred. This will give your soup golden color. If you rather like a brown chicken stock you have to roast or saute the bones first, then proceed as described below.
The bones can be chopped in 2-3 inch pieces and washed under running water. In addition the bones and scraps can be cleaned with salt and lemon as it is a tradition in warmer climates such as the Caribbean. Important is that no more blood is running out of the bones, that is in particular important when cooking fish bouillon. Place the bones into the pot with the required amount of water and bring to a simmer on low to medium heat. The lower the heat the more flavor is being released into the stock, the longer it will take to finish, however the flavor will be better. Don’t be afraid to speed up the process by increasing the heat, you’ll still get a good stock. Once the chicken stock comes to a simmer use a ladle to skim the foam that builds up at the surface. Then add all vegetables and flavorings including the roasted onion. Let it simmer for about 2 hours and replenish the evaporated water. Finally, taste the broth and season to your liking. Use a strainer to separate the stock from the bones and flavorings.
You may use your stock immediately to further cooking or strain it again through a cheesecloth if you would like to have a very clear broth. Once the stock has cooled place it in a refrigerator and chill over night. Discard the hardened fat, which is floating at the top o the stock. In most cases it is a big chunk of white looking chicken fat that is easy to lift off. A great stock looks similar to jelly and will become completely liquid when reheated. Use your stock to refine sauces, clear and cream soups, risotto, fricassees, stews and much more.
Cooking can be as efficient or as elaborate as you want it to be. The principles are always the same; however, new cooking trends emerge and change the way we look at certain recipes and how they are being prepared. In a restaurant kitchen you have every stock and broth at your disposal, which makes it very easy to not only cook for large amount of people, but to create a great variety of different abbreviations a certain stock or broth.
Obviously the average person doesn’t have the time and the resources to cook like a chef in a restaurant, but that is not necessarily true. Nowadays most stocks and broths are available in your local supermarket. The trick is to know what is being used for what. At times you’ll find yourself confused as to why certain cooking techniques are necessary and sometimes they are not. Not to worry, important is to start cooking and building a repertoire of simple dishes. There is nothing better than to have cooked a satisfying meal. Some people make the mistake and try too hard by using complicated recipes only ending up in disappointments. The joy of cooking is to master the basics and then adding your own style and taste into your cooking, at least for me. Regardless of what are you cooking the end result will most often depend on the quality of ingredients used, the technique and a good recipe, however, in my opinion the love and the passion you put into your cooking is equally important and will ultimately make the difference between a fantastic tasting dish or a sloppy one. Time has becoming a commodity in our society, due to the daily rush most of us live in. From rushing to work, eating your lunch in record time, running errands and coming home from work to cook for the family has become part of our daily routine and can be draining. Enjoying a good healthy and tasty meal at least once a day should be a priority. Whenever possible I try to have three including breakfast. I just love food regardless how simple it maybe. Just start cooking.
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