Roast rack of lamb is Doug’s favorite “special” dinner. This recipe is quite easy to prepare and is 99.9% mistake-proof. The lamb sauce is easy but it does need to simmer for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours so make sure you start that early enough. A rack of lamb has 8 ribs and serves two. This recipe makes enough of the mustard coating and enough sauce for two racks but is difficult to cut in half. I suggest going ahead with the complete recipe, and not worrying  about the little bit that will be left over.


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2-3 TBS. Dijon mustard
  • 3-4 TBS. olive oil


  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3-4 TBS. melted butter
  • Watercress leaves or parsley to garnish


To prepare the lamb for the oven, score the top of the rack lightly-making shallow crisscross  knife slashes in the covering fat. Mash the garlic and salt together in a small bowl, mash in the thyme, then beat in the mustard and the oil. Paint mixture over the top and meaty ends of the rack. Set rack meat side up. This may be prepared several hours in advance; cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and set the oven rack at the upper middle level. The first part of the roasting  is to sear the lamb. When the oven is ready, put the rack in and set timer for 10 minutes. When time is up, slide out oven rack, rapidly spread a coating of bread crumbs over the top of the rack, and baste with dribbles of melted butter. Turn thermostat down to 400 degrees, and roast for 20 minutes more. Voila- nothing more to it. This lamb will be medium rare to rare. Let the lamb sit for 3-4 minutes before carving individual ribs. I like to criss­-cross the ribs and put their little booties on them.


There will be little or no Juice in the roasting pan because the lamb is cooked rare and no juices escape. But it is nice to have a little sauce to moisten the meat. At the grocery store, you can find “lamb riblets” in the packaged meat department for under $2.00. Grab a package of those and brown them in a medium sized saucepan with 2 TBS. of oil, a chopped onion and a quartered carrot. Sprinkle on 2 TBS. of flour and stir for several minutes. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup of dry vermouth and 2 cups of chicken broth. Place back on fire and bring to simmer. Then add a celery stalk, a mashed garlic clove, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme, and a bayleaf. Cover partially and simmer two hours. If the liquid evaporates  too much, add a little more water. Strain into another saucepan and adjust seasoning. Buttered carrots go well with this too… I guess I just have a thing for buttered carrots!

(P.S. It’s nice to try to warm your plates for this dinner, because the lamb cools so quickly.)

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