This French trimmed roast rack of lamb recipe is a dinner party showstopper and the herb crust is so delicious. Get your butcher to trim the meat taking out any of the fuss. It cooks really quickly so you won’t be in the kitchen for ages preparing this dish. Serve with your favourite potato side or cauliflower gratin, green vegetables or a leafy salad.
I developed this recipe to pair with Lievland Vineyards Bushvine Pinotage. The wine has a dash of Cinsault, Mourvèdre & Grenache adding to the floral bouquet and complexity. Full of ripe fruit and with a distinctively savoury note, it’s a perfect pairing with this herb-crusted roast rack of lamb. It also might be my new favourite Pinotage. A cultivar I don’t always love, this wine is so juicy & accessible now I could drink it any time. Bring on winter and all meat dishes I will enjoy it with.
What is French-trimmed lamb?
French trimmed lamb is where the rack has been trimmed of almost all the fat (the fat cap) and the bones have been stripped of any sinew and flesh. They are exposed to create a very appealing and dramatic look. This is an expensive cut and is used in restaurants but so worth the spoil.
I used free-range Karoo lamb procured from Ryan Boon Meats. It’s worth going the extra mile here to source only the best.
Whether you take all the fat off or leave a little on (as I do) is totally up to your personal preference. Fat is flavour and I buy them with the fat cap on and then trim off as much as I want. The Parmesan cheese and mustard help to make the glue for the crumbs and add so much flavour so you don’t need a lot of fat here. The initial pan sear & stint in the oven renders some of the fat off and creates a crust. Portion size will vary on the size of the rack and whether you are leaving some of the fat on but work on 4 chops/ cutlets per person. Lamb racks are normally around 8-9 max.
A few lamb recipes you might like
This recipe is inspired by Gordon Ramsay and his technique to roast a rack of lamb on Masterclass.
Looking for more side dishes, check out My best recipes for vegetables on the side
Recipe – serves 3 – 4 people
Herb crusted roast rack of lamb
- 2 racks of lamb with 8 bones per rack approx. weight 600gm – 800gms / 21oz – 28oz
- Splash of olive oil
- 8 sprigs of thyme
- 3 Tbs butter
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
Herb crumb mix:
- 1 cup breadcrumbs such as panko
- ¼ cup basil leaves
- ¼ cup of flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 small garlic clove crushed
- Zest from a ¼ of a lemon
- A pinch of sea salt flakes
- Remove the rack of lamb from the fridge at least 2 hours before cooking to bring it up to room temperature. Pat it dry and trim off most of the fat. You can leave a very thin layer. Season the lamb well with salt & pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 190C / 375 F and heat an oven-proof cast iron skillet on low heat and add the splash of olive oil. Gently sear the meat on all sides over a low heat starting on the fat side to render it off. You don’t want to create too much of a crust.
- Once seared add the butter to the pan along with the thyme and baste this over the lamb a few times. Cover the top with some of the buttery thyme leaves and baking in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the racks from the pan to allow to cool slightly.
- Make the breadcrumb mix in a food processor. Add all the ingredients and whizz until you have a fine green crumb texture. Spread this out into a shallow dish.
- Turn the oven temperature to 200C / 400F.
Spread the Dijon all over the meat of the slightly cooled lamb rack and then dip it into the crumbs pressing to coat all the sides of the eat as possible. You want to try and get as much onto the rack as possible. Lay the coated racks back into the pan with the butter (remove the thyme leaves) and roast in the oven for:
- 6 – 8 minutes for rare
- 8-10 minutes for medium-rare
- 10 – 13 minutes for medium
- 15 minutes for medium to well done
- If the meat has an internal temperature of around 60C it will be rare.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes on a plate or board covered with foil.
- Cut into cutlets and serve with sides of your choice.
* This post is proudly sponsored by Lievland Vineyards