I loved this lamb. It’s rare to make a rack of lamb, isn’t it? I think this may have been the first time that I made one on my own. It wasn’t my idea to start out with, though I’m glad that I did it! My friends over at Sir Kensington’s, makers of superb ketchup and mayonnaise varieties, have just launched a line of mustards, and they asked if I might be up for trying their recipe for this Dijon rack of lamb. Sure thing! No problem! How do you cook a rack of lamb, again? The answer is simple, surprisingly enough. I prefer my lamb on the medium-rare side, and I was more than happy when I cut into this rack to see a perfect medium-rare interior. The outside was delicious, too. Slathered liberally in a mixture of Dijon mustard and herbs, with just the right amount of kosher salt, was excellent. I found myself unashamedly licking my fingers after picking up a lamb chop like a caveman and going to town. The next day, I sliced up the lamb for lunch and added it to an arugula salad with a mustard vinaigrette. Perfection.
Things started out grim at the BBQ, but the sun did eventually come out!
Cooking a large, admittedly a bit expensive, cut of meat can be scary. Mostly because you’ve just spent a good chunk of change on this thing, and there’s no going back if you screw it up. That is why I can’t stress enough the importance of having some kind of thermometer available, unless you know what you’re doing or are some kind of proper chef. I am not. I am not too proud to admit that I stuck a thermometer in my rack of lamb while it was still in the oven. The first time I did this, it needed another 10 minutes or so, as it was only at about 110 degrees F. The second time I checked, it was at the desired 135 degrees F. With a bit of resting time, which is necessary to retain all of the good juices in the lamb and allow it to come to an even temperature, the result was a lovely medium-rare. So put aside any fears you have of cooking something that may seem a bit daunting and remember that you just need to take your time and be patient with it.
I promised I’d share photos of the barbecue we had last weekend, so here they are. It was a bit grim at the beginning. We were up on the roof, having a good time, chatting before starting up the grill, when the rain started. And it wasn’t just a bit of rain. It was a downpour. We grabbed what we could and ran back inside, put out some snacks, threw on some music and tried to make the best of it. Kramer seemed to think that the rain would never pass, but I had hope. After about 20 minutes, the sun started peaking through the clouds and the rain had all but stopped. We ran back up to the roof and fired up the grill, ready and eager to get our hot dog bar started. Despite a few more brief sprinkles, things went swimmingly and our hot dog bar was a great success. We had more toppings than we knew what to do with: kimchi, bacon, seaweed, roasted ramps, caramelized onions, chili, jalapeños, red onion, sauerkraut, pickles, mustard, Sriracha mayo, shredded cheese, mustard (Kensington’s, of course) and more. Pair that with some top notch hot dogs and sausages from The Meat Hook, and you’ve got yourself quite the party. My friend Jessie also made a watermelon, mint and feta salad, which was fresh and summery, my friend Jeena brought some burgers and proper hot sausage from Jersey, and our friends Tom and Val brought pasta salad and green salads in an attempt to get some vitamins in us. We all stuffed ourselves on good food and washed it down with ice cold beers. Clearly Kramer and I allowed ourselves to indulge, but come Monday we were back on our diet. I will say, though, that we had a great time and enjoyed every bite.
The birthday boy! Isn’t he looking skinny?
I made Kramer a giant s’mores Pop Tart for his birthday – recipe to come!
The hot dog bar spread – we had everything! Chili, kimchi, cheese, seaweed, bacon, ramps, caramelized onions…the list goes on.
So many hot dogs.
Jessie and Lauren.
Tom and Val.
Jeena chowing down on a hot dog.
Kim and Mike.
Jaye Bartell (check out the video he did with Matt Hobby)!
The previously mentioned Matt Hobby.
Kramer enjoying a hot dog.
Mix together your mustard mixture and set aside.
Score the fat on your lamb, then cook until golden on all sides.
Smother the lamb in the mustard mixture, then roast at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
Cover with foil for 5 minutes or so and allow the lamb to rest before slicing.
- Rack of lamb (about 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 heaping tablespoons Sir Kensington’s Dijon mustard
- 1 heaping tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 heaping tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1 heaping tablespoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the Sir Kensington’s Dijon Mustard, thyme, marjoram and tarragon. Set aside.
- Score the fat cap on the rack of lamb with a knife in criss cross fashion, being careful not to cut into the meat. This will help the fat cook evenly and prevent the rack from curling up during the cooking process.
- Season the lamb with the pepper and salt, then heat your olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan (I used my cast iron pan) over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb on all sides, until light golden, about 4-5 minutes for the top and bottom and 1-2 minutes on the sides, just to get a crust.
- Brush the lamb liberally with the mustard mixture, then roast the lamb, bone side down and scored fat side up, for 20-25 minutes or so, until the internal temperature reads 135 degrees F (for medium-rare). Cover the lamb with foil when you remove it from the oven, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes or so before slicing and serving alongside crusty bread and a big, green salad.