You absolutely can’t go wrong with roasted racks of lamb cooked to a perfect medium rare. My famous rack of lamb recipe is simply amazing.
The celebrated Rack of Lamb is something that I reserve for the most special of occasions, which for me is usually the major Jewish holidays (such as passover) and Thanksgiving. But let’s be honest, you can never go wrong with a rack of lamb. It’s as delicious as it is visually stunning. It’s one of those foods that, when done correctly, is a showstopper. With something so beautiful and tasty as lamb, I believe less is more when it comes to seasoning. Let that lamb flavor shine!
My roasted rack of lamb recipe is simply seasoned with kosher salt, coarse pepper, garlic, rosemary, mustard and lemon zest. These additions enhance the already amazing lamb flavors and have your guests begging for more.
While there are many ways to cook a rack of lamb, the easiest and most hands-off method is in a very hot oven. This is generally my go-to when hosting a large gathering with lots of moving parts, i.e. when I simply do not have time to oversee the lamb searing on the stove top. A hot oven still yields a beautiful crust, especially if you dry brine, and is a lot more hands off.
What is the ideal doneness temperature for rack of lamb?
With most cuts of meat, I generally recommend cooking somewhere between rare and medium rare; however, with rack of lamb, my opinion is slightly different. Lamb is one of those magical cuts of meat that remains delicious at a range of temperatures. This is because lamb’s ratio of meat to wonderfully delicious fat (that gets better the more it renders and melts) helps keep every bite juicy and delicious, regardless of cook.
In fact, if the fat on lamb is not fully rendered the meat can taste chewy and is rather unpleasant. With all this said, my target cook is somewhere between medium rare to medium, with an emphasis on making sure the fat has adequate time to render down.
Amazing Oven Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Rack of Lamb
- Oven (electric or gas)
- Wire rack
- Large baking sheet
- Meat thermometer
- 2 racks lamb, Frenched (3 bones per person)
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled, and chopped
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼-½ cup chopped fresh rosemary, to taste
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
Dry Brine (minimum of 2 days in advance)
- The first step on our lamb prep journey is to dry brine the meat. Since you will be roasting in the oven and not searing in a skillet, I highly suggest dry brining the lamb for several days before you cook to ensure the best meat crust possible. Lamb needs far less salt than cuts of beef, but it can still benefit from early salting and resting uncovered in the fridge a couple days prior to cooking. The dry brining step will help the exterior brown faster, which will be especially helpful given the use of the oven roasting method. Coat racks of lamb with approximately 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Place lamb on a wire rack and let it rest in fridge for 2 days (minimum 24 hours).
- In a food processor, add garlic, ¼ to ½ cup of rosemary leaves, ½ cup olive oil, and process until finely chopped.
- Remove ingredients from food processor. Add 1.5 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of coarse fresh black pepper, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and lemon zest from one lemon.
- Let marinade combine for at least 30 minutes before adding to the meat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed; however, watch the salt level since the lamb has already been salted.
Cooking the Lamb
- Remove lamb from fridge and coat in the marinade. Let rest for at least 1 hour to get to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place the racks of lamb meat side up on a wire rack on top of a large baking sheet.
- Roast the lamb for 25 minutes, or until they reach 135-140 degrees internal temperature and the crust looks nicely browned.
- Let the lamb rest for at least 15 minutes, and then slice the lamb between the bones for serving.