Herb & Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Yogurt Sauce

Roasted rack of lamb is a brilliant centerpiece dish because it’s effortlessly-impressive to serve for special occasions, yet simple to prepare for an everyday meal. You’ll not go wrong with this roasted rack of lamb. The recipe uses a Panko coating with a blend of fresh spices that makes gives it full flavor. It also calls for “frenched” racks of lamb, which is a fancy term for removing the cartilage and fat between the rib bones so the clean bones are exposed, but you can ask your butcher to do this. We purchase ours from Costco because it really good value for money and the racks are already Frenched.

Rack of lamb was one of thee most popular dishes on the menu at Viva La Pasta and for good reason. It is traditionally served with mint jelly but we wanted to take it up a notch and serve it with a mint yogurt sauce. I used freshly ground rainbow pepper because I love the contrasting flavor of the various peppercorns, especially the pink peppercorns which has a floral note.

Herb-Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb

INGREDIENTS

Lamb:
  • 2 large racks of lamb, frenched, about 14 to 16 ounces (500g), see note
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (60ml)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt (7.5ml)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground rainbow pepper or black pepper (2.5ml)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (45ml)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, loosely packed (118ml)
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed (118ml)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary (45ml)
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs (236ml)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
Mint Yogurt sauce
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (118ml)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (118ml)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (5ml)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (5ml) (depending on the brand, I used Diamond Krystal Kosher salt)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly crushed rainbow pepper or black pepper (5ml)

PREPARATION

  1. For the lamb: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place the racks in a roasting pan or sheet pan, fat side up. Rub the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast the lamb for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place the parsley, basil, rosemary and garlic in the bowl of a food processor or Vitamix and process until they’re both finely minced. Add the bread crumbs and lemon zest and process for a second until combined.
  4. Take the lamb out of the oven and quickly press the herb panko mixture on top of the meat. Drizzle with the melted butter and return immediately to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.
  5. Prepare the sauce: While the lamb is roasting, stir together mint, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Take the lamb out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes, cut in double chops, and serve along with the sauce.
Herb-Panko Crusted Rack of Lamb

Notes:

“Frenching” refers to scraping the meat off the tips of the bones. Ask your butcher to leave 1/8 inch of fat on the meat. Each rack should have 7-8 bones. If you want to prevent the bones from becoming to dark, you can cover it with aluminum foil.

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