Lemon Verbena Rack of LambJul 22nd, 2010 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Featured, Greek, Greek Wine, Herbs, Lamb, Roasting
Here’s a dish for those without access to a gas or charcoal grill, perhaps it’s too hot to light up the grill or, you’re living in a part of the world where the season isn’t conducive to some backyard entertaining. The oven still needs some attention and it can still give your family and the meat you’re cooking up some lovin’.
You can still get away with lighting up the oven if you’re in the the middle of summer like we are here in Canada. This dish was cooked in the oven under the broil feature. The broiler doesn’t take that long to heat up and your meat is positioned closer to the heat source. This is a simple dish that takes advantage of the fresh herbs in the garden, the flavourful rack of lamb with it’s delicious fat (don’t trim too much off, it was bread to have this fat) and there’s minimal spices, salt and pepper as the seasoning.
We have garlic…lamb loves garlic, we have fresh thyme, some parsley for balance and the third herb is a fave of mine, lemon verbena. Many gardens in Greece will now have Lemon Verbena and the Greeks call it Luisa. The name stuck from when the Spanish brought lemon verbena back from the Americas for Queen Luisa. I like Dijon mustard as a melding ingredient, it’s tangy and helps with caramelization. There’s sweet paprika to give the meat a warm colour and an ever so slight hint of smoke when it hits some heat. A tad of honey for balance, salt and pepper for seasoning and voila, a simple but very flavourful main course that complements the flavour of lamb.
Got company coming over? This dish comes together rather quickly and the presentation is half the reason to serve this main. Marinade the racks of lamb for a couple of hours, tie them up and place under your broiler. As soon as your lamb takes on a warm brown colour, switch the broiler to 450F and finish off to attain the doneness of your choice. Every oven is different so you may want to cover the bones with some foil and certainly make use of a meat thermometer. I have one of those thermometers where you insert it into the meat, there’s a wire that leads to reading and thereby allowing you to close the oven door and monitor the doneness of your meat. I set the the alarm for my racks of lamb to buzz at 135F for a nice pink colour. You may choose the doneness you like or what your guests would like.
Lemon Verbena Rack of Lamb
2 racks of lamb
1/4 olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. of Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 Tbsp. of honey
2 tsp. of lemon zest
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. of lemon verbena leaves
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
fresh ground black pepper
coarse sea salt
- Rinse and pat-dry your racks of lamb. Turn the racks to their underside and using a knife, scrape some of the silver skin to loosen enough of it to be held by your fingers. Tear if off the racks and discard it.
- In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients except the salt and pepper together, mix and spread the marinade all over your racks of lamb with a brush. Marinade at room temperature for an hour or two hours in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before broiling. Season well with coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Pre-heat your broiler and place your oven rack to the middle position. Reserve any excess marinade and place in a small sauce pan and gently heat up and reserve. Tie-up your racks of lamb with some butcher’s twine with the fat sides touching each other. Wrap some butcher’s twine horizonatally around the rib bones and also vertically around the meat portion of the racks. Insert the meat thermometer into one side of the rack of lamb.
- Place on a shallow baking tray and roast under the broiler for 5 minutes. Now lower the oven’s temperature to 450F and roast for a total of about 25 minutes. For medium-rare, your meat should have a reading of 135F. Roast longer if that’s how you like your lamb.
- Tent your lamb with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving. Serve with wedges of lemon, sprinkle with some dried Greek oregano and serve with Greek roast potatoes and this Tourlou with green beans. Serve with a Semeli Mantineia Nasiakos.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis
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© 2010, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.