Jun 172012
grilled rack of lamb

Photo by American Lamb Board

In honor of Father’s Day, I found a great recipe for rack of lamb. Fire up the grill — this one’s a winner!

Grilled Rack of Lamb

  • 1-2 racks of lamb (8 ribs each)
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Trim racks of all visible fat. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread mixture over lamb ans set aside (or marinate in the refrigerator for up to 1 day).

Preheat grill.

Place lamb on grill over medium high heat and sear for a couple of minutes per side, reduce heat or move off of direct heat and continue grilling until the internal temperature reaches 140 to 150 degrees F. (about 10 minutes per side).

Serve over fingerling or new potatoes.

Serves 4.

 Posted by at 2:16 am
Jun 162012

lemon basil chopsThis was one of my very first lamb dishes, and to this day, is still one of my favorites. Its super easy to fix and creates a delicious meal even on a busy week night.

Several years ago the Winchester Star featured my recipe in the spring Food Section. Photo here compliments of the Winchester Star.

Lamb Chops with Lemon Basil Sauce

  • 4 Rib Chops
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stem
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup white chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

In a non-corrosive dish lay lamb chops flat. Combine half the lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, the rosemary, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Add the lamb, turn to coat with the marinade, cover. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the surface of pan.

Pat chops dry and season on one side with salt and pepper. Place the chops seasoned side down in pan. Cook until crisp and brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season the top side with salt and pepper, turn, and continue cooking until just firm.

An instant-read thermometer should register 130 to 135 degrees F. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Allow the lamb chops to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Pour off any fat left in the pan. Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the chicken stock, using wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add half the remaining lemon juice and simmer until the mixture is reduced to a glaze. This should take about 4 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter until melted. Add the basil and olives and season. Return the lamb chops to the sauce. Turn to coat thoroughly.

Arrange chops on a platter, pour sauce over chops and garnish with basil leaves.

Serves 4.

 Posted by at 8:13 pm
Aug 042011

For those who have limited experience cooking lamb, determining when it is done can be a challenge. An overcooked rack of lamb can be an expensive mistake and carving into an undercooked roast can be a bit frustrating. Yet the last thing you want to do is cut into a roast or chop to check for doneness. So what do you do? Using an instant read thermometer will give you quick and accurate temperature readings insuring the perfect main course for your meal.

As with other beef, lamb benefits from rest before serving, Resting (off of heat) allows the protein within the meat to relax and the juices to redistribute evenly. Give thin cuts like chops 5 minutes before serving and allow 20 minutes before carving roasts. Keep in mind that the meat’s internal temperature typically rises 5-10 degrees as it rests. So for best results, remove the lamb from heat when the thermometer reads 5-10 degrees less than your desired temperature.

The USDA recommends cooking ground lamb to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160F. Other cuts, including roasts and chops, should be cooked to 145F for medium-rare, 160F for medium, and 170F for well-done. The chart below also lists approximate cooking times.

cooking times

 Posted by at 7:17 pm
Jul 302011

Did you know… Properly handled meat stored in a freezer at 0°F (-18 °C) will always be safe as long as it hasn’t thawed. It’s safe because the bacteria has entered a dormant stage. For best quality, store ground meat no more than 4 months; whole cuts, 12 months; and cooked meats, 3 months. Storage for a longer period of time is not dangerous, but flavor/texture can deteriorate. So be sure to date packages before you put them in the freezer!

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 Posted by at 9:35 pm