General tips - cooking a rack of Lamb

The flavour of lamb is very unique, no other meat has the same depth in flavour. It can be cooked to an almost melting – most people’s preferred lamb texture – achieved when roasted in a slow oven over an extended period of time, and then it just falls off the bone and gives you the most tender and succulent rich experience. It can also be had slightly pink, especially good using young lamb or what is known as spring lamb. Here, the lamb is seared then finished in a hot oven to give you firm meat that is still succulent and rich. The two options produce very different results and experiences, yet both ways are very decadent and worth trying.

One of my favourite cuts of lamb is the rack. Whether you crust it with assorted spices, or try using my DS Artichoke & Green Olives Confit as crust (absolutely heavenly!) or you can go for a pistachio crust, a classic option with lamb cutlets… otherwise it can be simply baked in the oven… the rack is always a glorious cut to serve.

For a dramatic and impressive presentation of a rack of lamb, you can make what is called “a crown rack of lamb”. This is basically a whole rack of lamb (or two racks), french cut (read below) that are curled into a circle. If you are using two racks you will curl and attach the two then secure them with a kitchen string. This is excellent presentation especially if you have a side of vegetables or rice…etc. as these can be placed in the middle as filling. A crown rack is a beautiful dish to serve and since December is a month when you will most likely entertain, especially if you celebrate the festive season, this dish will always look glorious on your table.

In case you are not familiar with the French cut rack of lamb, and do not have access to a butcher who can prepare it for you. I found this link, and it includes a step by step tutorial on french cutting a rack of lamb. Make sure to check it out, it is always good to know how things are made.


Serves: 4-6 Cook Time: 25 mins
  • 4 racks of lamb, French cut
  • Salt & black Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp DS Organic Pickled Zaatar
  • 1/2 a small stick of butter
  • 3 Fresh thyme Springs
  • 2 cups homemade vegetable/lamb stock

To make the Crown rack, Trim and season the lamb rack.

Heat the butter and 1 tbsp of the pickled zaatar in an oven proof pan, then add the trimmed and seasoned lamb racks and sear for 4-5 minutes or until slightly browned on all sides.

Remove the lamb from the pan and pour away the fat, then deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock. Add the remaining tbsp of the pickled zaatar and the fresh thyme springs and reduce the stock slightly.

While the stock is simmering, curl the rack into a circle and secure with a kitchen string to hold the shape. Return the lamb to the pan of reduced stock. Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes in very hot oven 475F/240C.

The lamb should be browned on the outside yet still pink on the inside once cut.

Serve alongside my incredibly delicious Potato & Pumpkin Au Dauphinois on this link. Otherwise fill the centre with roasted vegetables or a rice pilaf or any filling you desire and serve hot with a side of salad.

Some relative cooking tips for you- 

  • I personally always cook with real ingredients, I never use store bought meat tenderisers, however I too like tender meats. The trick is to cook meats on the bone, slow and for longer durations. That always produces, melt-in-your-mouth tender meats that are also more deeply flavoured. Another natural tenderizer is the fat already present in the meats. In the case of lamb, this natural fat is already present in the meat itself. The rack for instance, already comes with the complementing fats, however because no one wants to consume too much fat, when trimmed and kept to a minimum this natural fat component aids the tenderness of the meat and really compliments the flavour. This also creates drippings from which you can make a sauce or gravy to dress the meat or its sides.
  • Making a smaller crown rack, allows you to enjoy this even if not entertaining a big group of people, or when you want to serve a seated dinner and have the crowns individually served (too ambitious? well I try!) Since it is the festive season and we all want to go a little out of the box with presentation, do try these smaller versions of crown rack. In fact, these allow you a beautiful presentation that your guests will talk about for a while after the dinner.

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