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Racks of Lamb with White Beans

Racks of Lamb with White Beans
To recommend a wine for this dish, we turned to Karen MacNeil, wine programs chair, Culinary Institute of America, and author of The Wine Bible. Here's what she had to say: "Lamb has a sweet gamelike meatiness that begs for red wine. For these racks, however, not just any red will work. Thanks to the mustard, demi-glace and roasting crust, the flavor ante has been upped. The perfect wine needs to match the lamb's meatiness and intensity and have enough grip to withstand all the dramatic seasoning. My favorite choice: a French Châteauneuf-du-Pape or California Rhone blend."

Serve these racks of lamb with our warm white bean salad (see related recipe at right).

Ingredients:

  • 4 racks of lamb, each with 7 or 8 ribs, 3 to
     3 1⁄2 lb. total, Frenched
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1⁄2 cups roasting crust
  • 3 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 1⁄3 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tsp. veal demi-glace
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 450°F. Lightly season the racks of lamb with salt and pepper.

In a large roasting pan or sauteuse pan over high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil until almost smoking. Add the racks of lamb and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board.

In a shallow bowl, combine the roasting crust and the remaining 5 Tbs. oil. Brush the meat side of the racks with the mustard, then coat with the roasting crust mixture. Arrange the racks, crust side up, in the roasting pan, spacing them evenly apart. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the rack, away from the bone, registers 130°F for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer the racks to a clean carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and set the pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the sherry and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits, until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the stock and demi-glace and cook until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes, then whisk in the butter. Pour the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a sauceboat.

Carve the racks into individual chops and arrange on a warmed platter. Pass the sauce alongside. Serves 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.