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Rack of Lamb

January 6, 2011

Saint Louis has experienced snow and a tornado all in the same bitterly cold week.  All I want to do is stay indoors and try to keep warm under the snuggy that my husband bought me for Christmas.  Most of us think of hot chocolate or a nice bowl of soup during the cold months, but my mind has been wandering about a nice cut of meat.  I have always been interested in roasting a rack of lamb, but have been too afraid to mess it up due to the hefty price tag. Since it is a new year and I am feeling ambitious, I decide to venture down to Whole Foods and get a rack. A hearty meal is definitely in order this week!

Never having prepared lamb, I was nervous about the cook time and the flavor I should bring to the dish. I really wanted to taste the lamb itself and not overpower it with strong seasoning.  I decided to go with a “safe” herb rub to give it a light, earthy flavor.  Lamb is already a tender piece of meat and is best served medium rare. If you overcook it, it can become tough and chewy, so a meat thermometer is a necessity for this dish! 

I am happy to report that the lamb was tender and flavorful – it was a hit at the dinner table this evening.  Surprisingly not as challenging as I first imagined.   I would recommend this recipe to anyone that feels intimidated by the RACK OF LAMB, especially if you have someone you want to impress.


  • 1 Frenched (ribs exposed) lamb rack (6-8 ribs)
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of rosemary
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • pepper to taste


  1. Combine thyme, rosemary, garlic and olive oil and rub mixture on ribs. Pepper ribs to taste and marinate in a Ziploc bag or Saran wrap for up to 2-24 hours.  (I marinated the rack in the refridgerator overnight).
  2. Let lamb come to room tempurature for at least 1 hour before cooking, this way it cooks evenly. Make small cuts through the fat of the ribs to allow the flavor to get through the meat when cooking. If you would like to add salt, now is your time to do that! 
  3. Preheat oven to 450 F, wrap foil on the exposed ribs so they don’t burn.  Place ribs in center of oven.
  4. For 12 mins, roast at 450 F, then lower to 350 F for an additional 10-20 mins (depends on size of lamb and the desired tempurature – see below).
  5. Let lamb rest for 10 mins before cutting to serve.

115 degrees F  = rare, 130 degrees F = medium-rare,  145 degrees F is medium-well

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan permalink
    January 6, 2011 10:26 pm


    Truly impressed. I am lovin yo bloggin! I too, have been intimidated by this pricey, yet alluring cut of meat. I have yet to take the plunge, mostly because of the “rack” of bones that protrude…something about it is just so intimidating and scarey. I love to venture down the unknown spice paths such as those used in Indian food, odd and strange ingrediates used in many Asian cuisines, however its those damn ribs that keep me from purchasing this meat. I am making a 2011 New Year’s resolution to make this dish. It looks amazing and it making my mouth water as I write this entry (i am currently starving at the moment, so i would probably salivate at nasty bowl of Ramen noodles, nevertheless not a reflection of your dish).

    As I contemplate expanding my culinary adventures for this upcoming year, I always find it so difficult to dive into a new recipe or something that I have never made because I lack the understanding of how it will ultimately taste. I am acutely aware of the fact that I miss out on many things by not trying something out, but I often shy away. I need a means of something random popping up in my email box that says “you will make this” and I have to do it.

    Any interest in being each other’s “push” into new dishes?

    Talk soon!


    • Laura MacDougall permalink
      January 7, 2011 3:42 am

      I would love to be your “push”! Don’t be afraid of the bones/ribs, the dish was so much easier than I expected! I have always been a bit afraid of unknown spices as well. Maybe I will feature a dish with a unknown spice soon, any that you are curious about? Maybe I could try that spice next?


      • Ryan permalink
        January 10, 2011 11:19 pm


        Make a dish that has star anise in it. Star Anise is something that brings so much flavor to dishes and is found in many asian, indian, and all kinds of other cuisine. Let me know how it goes.

        I am not going to do lamb just yet, mostly because i want to save it for a special occasion….throw out a dish that might seem challenging and I will make it this weekend.


        Great having dinner this past weekend. Lets plan on a date when Trevor gets back home!

        • Laura MacDougall permalink
          January 11, 2011 1:24 am

          I have always been interested in that spice. I promise to make something with Star Anise in it by the end of the month! Thanks for reading!

        • Laura MacDougall permalink
          January 23, 2011 6:35 pm

          The Star Anise dish has been posted!

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