And just like that, I finally mastered a roasted rack of lamb.
For whatever reason, I have feared cooking a whole rack of lamb for the longest time. Before this recipe I’d cooked up a grand total of four racks of lamb, and only one with success. I don’t know if I was buying bad meat or what, but my lamb just never turned out all that awesome. When we had a billion and one people in town over Christmas (hey, hey Gerard and Payne families…all of you dear friends…and even the “randoms” who stopped in), we all got to chatting and everyone decided it was very wrong that I did not have a recipe for roasted lamb on the site. I guess they all really love them some lamb… and so they went on to convince me to make them lamb tacos (with all the fixings), which I must say were really freaking delicious.
I decided right then and there that I would make you guys a roasted rack of lamb as the centerpiece of your Easter menu. And you guys, this is not just any rack of lamb, it’s one that I LOVE! <–obviously, or I wouldn’t be sharing it. DUH.
After talking with all my people, aka Lyndsie, it was decided that the lamb needed to be simple. Simple so that the tender meat could really shine, and so that I could serve it up with a sauce…because you guys know I love a good sauce.
SO…the lamb is seasoned very simply with a few very important ingredients, garlic, oregano, cumin, lemon, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. The key is to really let the seasonings sit on the lamb for a bit before it roasts. I’ve been doing thirty minutes on the counter, but overnight is best,,,if you can plan ahead a bit (I try, but in the end, something comes up and ahhh, the overnight thing just doesn’t happen). Then all you need to do is roast, so simple, so good. I think before I was just putting too much on the lamb and it overpowered everything. Just another example of how simple can be so awesome.
Another key here is to roast the lamb at a higher temp so that you can get a nice crust on the outside, while leaving the inside perfectly cooked. I went for medium-rare, but if you prefer your lamb more well done, just tack on a few minutes to the cooking time.
But okok, while the lamb is great on its own, you know me, I had to add a topping of sorts. I thought about this for a while, going back and forth between a white sauce, an olive oil based sauce, even a salsa, but something creamy just seemed to fit best here. Enter the goat cheese sauce! Oh my gosh, this sauce is incredible. Basically whipped goat cheese with a touch of honey and fresh basil <–all my favs. I absolutely love this sauce and how well the flavors pair with the simple roasted lamb. The honey adds a really nice warmth, while the basil keeps the sauce bright and fresh. The combo together is perfect on the tender lamb, and while I used basil, you could also use mint.
I have to say, I’m pretty happy with the fact that I now have a go-to lamb recipe. YES!
This roast feels so perfect for spring in general, but would of course be amazing for Easter. Ok, and just about any other time of the year too!
Now that I have the rack of lamb pretty much perfected, maybe it’s about time I show you guys those lamb tacos? Cinco de Mayo is coming up, so my thoughts are tacos all the way. Yay? Nah?
In the meantime, I’ll just be over here, roasting up racks of lamb and covering them in goat cheese sauce, because this recipe is that good. I know for sure I’ll be making this lamb at least once more…not all of the family will be here for Easter, but most of them will be, and this lamb will certainly be on the menu!
ps. speaking of goat cheese, we have so much goat milk it’s not even funny. I have yet to make homemade goat cheese and I feel as though this needs to happen ASAP. Has anyone ever made goat cheese?
Roasted Rack of Lamb with Basil Honey Goat Cheese Sauce.
Honey Goat Cheese Sauce
- 6 ounces creamy goat cheesy, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche or plain greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup fresh basil or mint
- zest of 1 lemon
- kosher salt and pepper
1. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, season the racks generously with salt and pepper.
2. In a food processor, combine the olive oil, garlic, oregano, cumin seeds, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse until combined. Rub the mixture evenly over both racks. Arrange the carrots around the lamb. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour or cover and place in the fridge overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
4. Roast the lamb for for 15 minutes, then flip and roast another 10 minutes for medium-rare. Remove and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In blender, combine the goat cheese, crème fraîche, honey, and basil until smooth. Stir in the lemons zest and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Slice the lamb in between the bones and serve with the goat cheese sauce.
Tomorrow we we’ll be talking sides, and I am excited!