Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Strawberry Mint Sauce – Here’s to a Brighter Future

Like many Americans my age, I was raised with a jar of mint jelly in the fridge, and it never, ever, came out unless there was lamb around. In fact, if someone caught you making a PB&J with mint jelly back then, it was straight to the insane asylum. Nope, mint jelly was to be served only with lamb – and lamb only with mint jelly.

We’ve come a long way since then, and now, anything goes. Except for peanut butter and mint jelly sandwiches. That’s still considered crazy. But as far as mint sauces go, I love experimenting with new ideas, especially around Easter time, and I really liked how this came out.

As I mention, next time we’ll add our mint right before we serve, so to preserve that bright green color, but besides that, I really enjoyed the combination. Once it was properly seasoned, that is. I added more of everything; lemon juice, salt, cayenne, and mint, before it was just right. The ingredient amounts below have been properly adjusted.

Regarding the cooking method: I usually sear my racks in a very hot frying pan, then add the mustard/crumb mixture, and roast until we reach 125 F., internal temp. This time I tried an alternative method, where you sear it in a hot oven, then add the crumbs, and continue roasting until done. Which is a better method for the home cook? Probably the first one.

The good news is; if you watch any of our older rack of lamb videos, you see this method in all its glory. In fact, this “Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb” would not only show you our preferred technique, but would also go amazingly well with this sauce. I really hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large or 4 smaller portions:
1 whole (8 bone) rack of lamb seasoned very generously with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons finely minced green onions
1/4 cup fine plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the *sauce:
2 cups fresh strawberries
zest of one lemon
juice from 2 lemons
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup freshly sliced mint leaves (add right before you serve!)
salt and cayenne pepper to taste

* Only do final seasoning when the sauce has cooled. When tasting the sauce, keep in mind it’s going to be used as a condiment, and not eaten plain, which means it needs to be very well-seasoned. This is why it’s better to taste on a cracker or piece of bread, instead of off the spoon. Other great additions to this sauce are things like balsamic vinegar, hot/sweet peppers, cracked black pepper, as well as other “sweet” herbs, like tarragon and basil.


Unknown said...

This looks incredible. I've always been kind of scared to cook lamb but I might try this one. :)

suequez said...

how long do i have to cook it for medium?

Foodlover said...

Hello Chef John... Would you recommend blanching the mint leaves before adding to the stawberry sauce to keep the green color?

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

I make this for Easter Dinner every year. I skip the strawberry sauce but the flavor is great!