Friday, January 19, 2007

rosemary garlic rack of lamb

a very long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away), princess lea (heeee) tagged us for a cooking meme called inviting all foodbloggers. basically, the meme was, what would you cook for blogging friends the first time you had them over for dinner? i'm sure she thought we'd ignored it. we kind of did. actually, the meme fell victim to one of my more annoying bad habits, which is not starting a project because i can't devote the kind of time to it at that moment that i want to produce an end-result that i'd be happy with. i owe numerous people numerous emails for exactly this same reason. anyway, i kept lea's meme as a new post in my bloglines and have been looking at it for nigh on three months now. i still haven't come up with the dream menu that i would use to wow other bloggers with (sheesh, no pressure), so i'm tweaking the meme a bit in the name of expediency: what would i serve if i knew my blogger foodie friends were descending on my house at that very moment and i had to impress but i had to keep it simple because i didn't have a lot of time? simple. my trusty standby: rosemary garlic rack of lamb.

this rack of lamb is so easy to make, very hard to mess up and it never fails to impress. i got the idea from jamie oliver, who cut holes into a leg of lamb roast and shoved in rosemary twigs and garlic cloves. the rack of lamb, being smaller, needed to have those elements broken down a bit, though, so i chop up the rosemary and press the garlic, then add some salt and olive oil to make a paste...

rosemary garlic

if you're feeling really adventurous, get out your mortar and pestle and give the ingredients a good mash before adding the olive oil.

then i take a frenched rack of lamb and cut some small holes (the width of my paring knife) down close to the bone side, like this...

lamb rack

and then use a spoon, but mostly my fingers, to stuff in the rosemary garlic paste, like so...

rosemary lamb rack

i flip the meat over (fat side up) and put it on a rack in my roasting pan before it goes in the oven and, if i have any rosemary garlic paste leftover, i smear it on top (otherwise, a little bit of olive oil helps with the browning quite nicely)...

ready to roast

into the oven at about 425 degrees (convection roast if you have it, otherwise, brown the outside of the lamb before you pop it in the oven) until internal temperature is about 140. a one pound rack usually only takes about 20 minutes. it comes out nice and crispy on the outside, like this...

out of the oven close up

after a good 5 - 7 minute rest, slice between the bones et voila...

carved

perfect medium rare. you can see the vein of garlicky, rosemary goodness and believe me, it has flavored the meat throughout. i usually serve this with spinach and potatoes (like jeff's braised potatoes), something simple to keep the focus on the lamb. and of course, lamb like this goes great with with a bold and fruitier red wine, my favorite pairing is cline ancient vines zinfandel.

so, if food blogger friends were bearing down on my house with little or no notice, this would probably be what they would get fed when they arrived! sorry it took so long, lea!

it also occurs to me that this is a good post for kalyn's weekend herb blogging, what with the rosemary and all. whb is being hosted this week by real epicurean. check it out!

9 comments:

doodles said...

You are the bomb lil bird....sick as you are. Now I'm shamed and no I never forget Lea just pushed her to the side - no offense Lea.

Kalyn said...

Can I come over and eat this with you? It looks wonderful!

mooncrazy said...

That looks wonderful but I would expect no less. You never posted the wonderful dinner you had for your great-auntie Marci and that was after you'd worked all day. Where did you score that rack, err, of lamb?

La Vida Dulce said...

WOW! Nice rack. Of lamb. What were you thinking I meant? Another magazine spread. Almost like an article in Fine Cooking. Save one for me too!

Ellie said...

What a brilliant roast - and so perfectly cooked!

maltese parakeet said...

thanks, vida, and i have a nice rack, too! (truesdell genes!) i got the lamb at trader joes - where else? kalyn, i didn't think about it, but i think i'll send this in for weekend herb blogging, too!

Laura Rebecca said...

Yum, yum, yum. Looks cooked to perfection!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Classic combination - sounds great!

Katie said...

That looks sooooo good - perfectly pink! I like the idea of sticking it in the pockets. Next time!