I had a single old rack of lamb (only 8 skinny ribs in total) laying in my freezer for over a year. Each time I wanted to cook it, my husband would object: “let’s save it for the special occasion, when we have guests”. Whenever we had guests, I would look at that lonely rack of lamb in the freezer and would think, hmm, that doesn’t look like enough food for 6 people, unless we want to serve an average of one rib per person, which would make us look like one of those fine dining restaurants that serve a tiny portion of meat on a huge plate. So, I would close the freezer and skip the lamb. For some reason, this type of reasoning has continued for about a year.
Finally, on one sunny day when we were not expecting any guests, I was scanning the freezer for the meat to use and when I saw that over-year-old-lonely-single rack of lamb, I for some reason decided to grab it, defrost it and cook it that very night.
To my luck, the rack of lamb did not suffer any freezer burn and the end result was more than satisfying.
This is a simple recipe that does not require a lot of work, except to make sure that you don’t overcook the lamb. The lamb itself is so flavorful – that’s what makes the dish. I just added a couple of accents, such as pistachio crust and 3 simple side dishes (mashed potatoes, carrots, and asparagus).
My sister tends to call rack of lamb – the “lack of ramb”, not because it’s funny, but because she just mixes those letters in this word combination. Like an annoying music tune that won’t go away, I catch myself doing the same thing. So, since I was typing this post in the evening (not my best time of concentrated thought), I had to go back and correct a couple of lacks of ramb that I managed to type into this post.
Pistachio crusted rack of lamb
Prep time: 1 hr
Cook time: 1 hr 15 min
- 1 rack of lamb (8 ribs)
- Salt and pepper to generously season lamb
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup pistachios (without shells)
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 large long carrots
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon parsley
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- salt to taste
Makes 3 servings (or 2 servings if one of the two persons served is very hungry)
1) Preheat oven to 400 F.
2) Place pistachios, bread crumbs, salt and pepper into the food processor and process until really crumbly. Drizzle 1 table spoon of olive oil all over the bread and pistachio mixture and mix until well combined.
3) Season lamb with salt and pepper.
4) Warm a large skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot , add olive oil enough to film the bottom of the pan (1 tbsp of oil, maybe a little bit more)
5) Add lamb to the skillet, cooking for about 3 minutes on each side to brown.
6) Transfer lamb to a medium size roasting pan, with the fatty side up like shown on this picture below. Spread mustard over the top portion of the rack (the fatty side). Then pat pistachio and bread crumb mixture over mustard coating on lamb. Press to make sure it adheres.
7) Roast lamb for about 20-25 minutes, medium-rare. If using thermometer, it should register 130 F. Transfer to a cutting board or a plate.
8) Cut the lamb into chops, 3 or 2 ribs each.
To cook carrots:
1) Slice each carrot into 4 pieces, lengthwise, so that you have thin long pieces of carrots.
2) Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add the carrots, they should sizzle. Stir to coat with oil. Add a pinch of salt. Add a little bit of parsley and oregano.
3) Cook on high heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until carrots are nicely browned and get the “roasted” look – for 10-15 minutes. After that, remove from heat, cover with lid and let carrots stay covered for at least 10 minutes
To cook asparagus:
1) Bring medium size pan with water to boil. Add asparagus and cook for about 10 minutes until asparagus is somewhat soft but still crunchy.
2) Drain asparagus, pat dry. Add to the skillet with carrots. Stir to coat with oil. Add salt if necessary.
Use your favorite recipe for mashed potatoes or use mine (which I will be adding soon).
To serve, put 3 large spoonfuls of mashed potatoes in the center of the plate, top with lamb ribs. Add roasted carrots and asparagus at the base.
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