Tender rack of lamb, though expensive, makes an elegant roast for a special-occasion dinner, and it’s quite easy to prepare. A brief marinade of pounded garlic and anchovy, Dijon mustard and olive oil heightens the flavor. For a simple accompaniment, roast small crushed potatoes in the same pan. Each eight-bone rack may be sliced into four thick chops, or eight thin chops, if you prefer.
- 2lamb racks, about 1 1/2 pounds each, preferably frenched (see Note)
- Salt and pepper
- 2tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3cloves garlic, minced
- 4anchovy fillets, minced
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ to 2pounds small, round potatoes, scrubbed and left whole
- 2tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary
- 2tablespoons roughly chopped parsley, for garnish
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- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Season lamb generously with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix together Dijon mustard, garlic and anchovy (or pound together in a mortar for a smoother texture). Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Smear lamb all over with marinade and set aside.
- Meanwhile, boil potatoes until the tip of a paring knife meets no resistance, 10 to 15 minutes depending on size. When potatoes are done, drain, transfer to a roasting pan large enough to hold them in a single layer, and set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. With palms or the back of a wooden spoon, crush potatoes gently to crack open and slightly flatten. Sprinkle with salt, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil, and turn to lightly coat.
- Lay lamb racks on top of potatoes, with bones curving downward. Scatter rosemary over meat and potatoes. Roast, uncovered, until a meat thermometer registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), about 20 minutes. (Cook to 135 degrees for medium.)
- Remove lamb to a cutting board and let rest, tented with foil. Return potatoes to oven and leave to roast 10 to 15 minutes more, until nicely crisped.
- Use a large chef’s knife to slice the racks by cutting between the bones. (One rack will yield 4 thick chops or 8 thin ones). Transfer chops and potatoes to a warm platter, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
- You can buy lamb racks that are “frenched” (trimmed of fat, with the bones scraped clean) and ready to roast at a butcher shop. Supermarket lamb racks often need additional trimming. Frenching them at home is not absolutely necessary, but do remove extraneous fat.