Why do I suddenly have the urge to create a new rack of lamb recipe? Well, last week we received a few of our animals back from the butcher, so we’re swimming in farm-fresh meat here at Chez Wasabimon. Our freezer is packed with a lamb, a goat, half a cow and another animal that my mother in law has sworn me to secrecy over. To say we’re stocked would be an understatement.
This rack of lamb recipe was inspired by Monica Bhide’s newest book, Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen. I’ve gotten up close and personal with this book over the past few months, and it’s inspired me to experiment with a lot of spices that I didn’t have a lot of experience with. I have a ridiculously stocked spice cabinet, and while I use most of what’s in there, I tend to stick to solid recipes and not really explore on my own. I’m stoked to be playing more now, with much success!
This rack of lamb recipe is nice and fennel-y with just the right amount of heat. If you like it uber-spicy, feel free to add another chili to the mix or up the amount of black pepper. If you don’t know how to French a rack of lamb, it’s actually really easy – here’s a video to show you how. If you just can’t bring yourself to trim your gorgeous rack, ask your butcher to do it for you. Or better yet, have him show you how so you can do it yourself next time.
I like to make veggie stir-fry in the skillet I used to brown the lamb, making sure to put the lamby fond to good use. Heat the pan over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of white wine and scrape loose the meaty bits with a spatula. Toss in two tablespoons of olive oil and two handfuls of broccoli florets, then stir-fry until broccoli is bright green and tender but still a little crunchy. This, alongside some brown rice, makes the perfect side for the recipe below.
- 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 dried red chili pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon black or multi-colored peppercorns
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided in two
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 rack of lamb, 8-10 ribs, Frenched and trimmed of all fat
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat for one minute, then toss if fennel seeds, cumin seeds and whole chili pepper. Toast until fragrant, about two minutes, agitating every 15 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Put toasted spices into a spice grinder, then add cardamom, peppercorns and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Pulse until you have a fine powder, about 30 seconds.
- Pour ground spices into a small bowl and add heavy cream. Mix until you have a paste. Set aside.
- Make sure your rack is trimmed of all fat and split it in half so that you have equal ribs in each half. Rub all over with olive oil, then finish up with a rub of the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and sear all sides of the rack, about two minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set in a 9×9 pan. Let sit until cool enough to touch.
- Stir the spice paste, which will have thickened up a bit. It should be a spreadable consistency – if it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of heavy cream.
- Spread the spice paste over the meaty parts of the rack and into the cuts between the cutlets. Arrange the racks so that the ribs intertwine, forming an arc like the image above.
- Place pan into oven and roast until internal temperature of the roast is 130°F, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice ribs apart and serve.
Take a peek at a few of the other recipes I’ve made from Modern Spice: