Lamb is a delicate but rewarding meat; while a lot can go wrong when cooking it, when you get it right it’s an unforgettable experience. US Wellness Meats recently sent me one of their rack of lamb split loin roasts, and honestly, it was a little intimidating. Not only is this one of the most tender parts of the lamb, it needed some initial carving/butchering as well. Since one of my goals of this site is to make cooking less intimidating, I was happy to have the opportunity to demystify this formidable cut of beast.
I went with a French-inspired preparation of the dish. I carved the rack into a rolled loin roast, and used the leftover bone pieces to make an on-the-spot broth while the roast marinated. This broth then served as a base for my mint/parsley/mustard sauce.
1 US Wellness Meats rack of lamb split loin roast (1.5 lbs)
1/4 cup fresh rosemary
1/4 cup fresh Italian (flat) parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp each sea salt pepper (for the bones)
1 tsp each kosher salt and pepper (for the roast)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
for the sauce:
2 carrots, chopped into big chunks
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh Italian (flat) parsley
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
4 tbsp melted butter
Many butchers carve the excess fat from this cut of lamb, but thankfully US Wellness Meats sent it to me with all of the fat intact. Considering that it’s full of Omega-3 fatty acids, I didn’t carve away any of the excess fat myself, and instead used it as a protective coating around my rolled roast.
To carve, place the rack with the fat-side down. Cut along the bone rack (commonly referred to as the “back strap”) to the end of the bone, gently rolling the tenderloin as you cut.
At the end of the bones that you’ve now exposed, cut down into the rack about 1mm, and then cut back along the other side of the back strap, staying close to the bone. Stop when you get to the base of the bone.
Flip the rack over so it’s fat-side-up, and carefully cut away the back strap at the remaining connection. It should slide right out.
There was one small bone attached the side of my rack; if you have one as well, remove it and set it aside.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan put the bones, carrots, onion, and two cloves of garlic, and drizzle with 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each sea salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes, flipping the bones after 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, roll your lamb loin and tie with cooking twine. I needed five ties.
Rub the loin with 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1/4 cup fresh rosemary, and 1/4 cup of fresh parsley. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 1/2 hours – after that, take it out and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
After the bones are done roasting, add everything to a pot along with 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 10 peppercorns, and six cups of water.
Heat on medium heat until it starts to simmer, then reduce heat to low and gently simmer for four hours. Your six cups of liquid should reduce to about 2 or 3 cups of tasty lamb bone broth.
After four hours, pull out the bones with some tongs and pull off any meat that you can and set it aside. In a blender or food processor, combine your 1 1/2 cups of broth, the veggies from the broth, the meat you just picked off the bones, the rest of the fresh parsley, fresh mint, ground mustard, and melted butter. Blend until everything is well-blended, then pour it into a saucepan. And before you ask, yes we own a Ninja blender, and we love it!
Bring to a simmer on low heat, stirring in 1/2 tsp salt and pepper as it heats. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat off – we’ll reheat it right before serving. If we left it simmering the whole time, the sauce’s fresh mint taste wouldn’t be as effective.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. At the same time, warm the ghee on med/high head in a large skillet. Unwrap the loin, and remove the rosemary and parsley while being careful to keep as much garlic as you can on the roast. Rub with 1 tsp each kosher salt and pepper, then place the loin in the skillet to brown. Brown two or three minutes per side.
After it’s been browned, put the lamb on a roasting pan and place it in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, rotating the roast every ten minutes. Check the internal temperature, it should be at 150 degrees (medium/medium rare). Pull the roast out of the oven and let it rest for five minutes before carving. While it’s resting, reheat your sauce on low for five minutes.
Carve into 1/2″ slices. You can leave the cooking twine on for presentation’s sake if you’d like, which is what I did. I like the “rugged” look of having the twine still on meat.
Pour a little of the sauce on top of the slices and serve with boiled fingerling potatoes. You might want some earplugs to protect your ears from all of the shouts of joy your dinner guests will be making!