Rack Of Lamb With DiJon Mustard Crust, Potatoes And Spinach
Serves two or three
I will admit that this is a bit costly and takes some time but if you like lamb this is a great recipe. Serves two or three as main dish depending on the size of the chops and four to six as appetizers.
8 chop/ 4 rib rack of lamb
Canola oil (as needed)
1 tbsp. green olive oil
Coarse sea salt
2 tbsp fennel seed
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 or 3 tbsp. butter
A large half-cooked or fully cooked Idaho potato sliced into medallions
1 tsp. rough-chopped rosemary
1/4 cup Japanese Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup half-cooked bacon, reserve the fat
1 tsp. capers, well drained
2-3 tbsp. garlic
½ cup Scallions (large green onions) sliced
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 fresh lemon
Reduced red wine sauce – 2 cups of red wine and 2 cups of beef stock reduced to one cup, 3 tbsp of shallots thinly sliced and sautéed in butter. Add the shallots to the reduced wine, season with a pinch of black pepper, salt and thyme taste and adjust.
Here’s What To Do:
Have your butcher remove the fat from the outside of the rack, trim the bones if necessary and cut the chine bone from the rack of lamb. I’d also ask to have the chops cut through and then have the rack tied back together, trust me it will make serving much easier.
Heat a frying pan big enough to hold the rack or medium high heat, add the canola oil. Place the rack on a baking pan and season with cracked black pepper, coarse salt and fennel seed; rub the seasoning into the meat. Place the entire rack of lamb in the pan and roast each side and end for 3-4 minutes so that all sides will be nicely browned, (you may have to hold the rack on end with tongs or a fork) but will leave the lamb raw in the middle.
Pre-heat the oven to 500-degrees. Place the potatoes slices in a medium bowl and top with olive oil, the bacon fat, scallions, rough-chopped rosemary some cracked black pepper, some sea salt (less is more). Give it one or two flips to coat all the potatoes, pour the potatoes into an oven proof dish or baking pan and roast them until they brown on the outside. Remove from the oven and cover with foil.
Reduce the oven to 425-degrees. For the meat crust, put a tbsp. of rosemary, the half-cooked bacon, fresh parsley, garlic and black pepper in the food processor. Really pulverize the mixture, and then add the Dijon mustard and the Japanese breadcrumbs, matzo meal, a little lemon juice, a little water, and a little olive oil into the processor for one or two final mixes. Use your hands or a spatula to coat all three sides of the rack with the Dijon mixture; it should be firm enough to hold to the meat. Add a large spoonful or two of butter to the top of the rack, as it will melt and encase the lamb during cooking.
Cook the rack on the baking sheet for seven – ten minutes or until the crust is nicely browned. Remove the rack and check for doneness, they should be red but cooked, return for to the oven two minutes intervals if they need to go longer, when finished, cover with foil and rest for ten minutes.
While the rack rests cook the spinach. Use a clean medium sauté pan over medium high heat and melt the butter until starts to brown, add the spinach and sauté until it starts wilt, give it a flip and then a good pinch of sea salt, the capers, and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Cook briefly and remove from the heat and set aside.
Return the potatoes to the oven while you prepare the meat. When you are happy with the lamb, remove the potatoes and sprinkle with a little parsley.
For a nice presentation build the plate with a good spoonful of potatoes and then add the spinach with capers right in the front. Finally, lay three or four chops across the plate and pour a bit of the reduced wine sauce over the edge of the meat — yes a lot work but really tasty.
Woody’s Wine Pick
This is the kind of dish that calls for pulling a couple of nice bottles out of the cellar and that’s exactly what I did, a California Merlot and a Bordeaux because it has Merlot in it. Since not everyone has a cellar I have selected two wines with a strong Merlot presence. The mustard and salt flavors rule here and Merlot is a classic match.
What Goes With What Wines Selections
Peterson Merlot ’02, Dry Creek Valley, CA (Merlot)
A lovely wine with some bottle age on it and it’s still big with ripe cherry, cocoa and spice in the nose, lovely tannins and vanilla from the oak aging. It shows cherry and dark chocolate in the finish. $16