Thyme & Shallot Rack of Lamb Persillade

I present to you a show-offy dinner that doesn’t take a lot of time, or a lot of technique.

Ina Garten has a killer recipe for rack of lamb persillade. As anyone who has made her recipe before can attest, there’s much to love about the traditional parsley-based approach she uses there. But here, I opted to do a version with shallots and thyme.

I’m normally not a fan of breadcrumbs on meat. They get soggy. Fast. What’s more disappointing than a soggy chicken parmesan? That’s why we went with panko breadcrumbs. Sogginess risk eliminated, and the breadcrumbs’ butter coating gives the crust an even roastier, toastier flavor.

Man, I wish lamb prices would drop. If it were on par with beef, I would eat it just as often. Maybe more. What does lamb offer that beef is missing? The thin layer of fat that runs down the bone. Go ahead and get that nicely seared and rendered in a pan. If you’re like me, you will gnaw on the bone to get every last bit of flavor.

As with many Hankerings dishes, there’s more butter in this recipe than meets the eye.

After pre-cooking the lamb for a few minutes, I coat the entire rack with a thick later of room temperature butter. This helps the coating stick, but I won’t pretend this is the only reason I’m slathering a rack of lamb in butter. That butter seeps into the meat, and the burnt bits you get on the lamb make this the sensical thing to do.

What are your favorite ways to prepare rack of lamb? Hopefully, you find this worthy of your recipe arsenal.

I N G R E D I E N T S

  • 1 rack of lamb, frenched (most fat removed from bones)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 6 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 / 2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 / 2 stick butter, room temperature, salted or unsalted, plus 1 / 4 stick butter, melted
  • Salt, as needed
  • Pepper, as needed
  • Olive oil, as needed

D I R E C T I O N S

  1. Preheat the oven to 425*.
  2. Prepare the panko topping. Combine the thyme, shallot, panko, melted butter, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper in a bowl, tossing to coat. Set aside.
  3. Put the rack of lamb in a small roasting pan. Coat with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly for 10 minutes.
  4. Spread 1 / 2 stick butter on all surfaces of the lamb. Pat the panko bread crumb topping on top of the meat. Some of the coating will fall off into the pan – this is OK.
  5. Place the rack of lamb back in the oven immediately, cooking for an additional 10 minutes, for rare.
  6. Remove from the oven, allowing the rack to rest for 10 minutes or so before cutting into chops.
  7. Cut the rack into chops using a sharp knife. Serve warm or room temperature.

Rack of Lamb with Black Truffle & Morel Pan Sauce

Sometimes my mind wanders to scenarios like, “What if I could I buy truffles by the dozen?”

When I really think about it, I don’t want to live in a world with a caviar aisle. I live for the rare occasions when I get to splurge on a French cheese aged for decades in a cave sold by monks or a bank-breaking filet of perfectly marbled wagyu beef.

Hope exists for those of us who don’t have a $1,500 line item in our budget for truffles each month.

If and when you’re ready, authentic truffles can be found in butters sold online, but be wary about the vendor you choose.

D’Artagnan products, which I aspire to stock my fridge with, are great quality – they sell white and black truffle butters and oils that are surprisingly affordable. They also sell beautiful fresh chickens. When I place an order, I’ll splurge and buy several tubs of truffle butter to freeze and have on hand for special occasions.

This presentation calls for a packed audience, an encore, and a standing ovation with dozens of thrown rose bouquets. Make this at a dinner party, holiday, or on a special anniversary.

A tried-and-true side dish for any roasted meat is the versatile potato, and whipped potatoes always serve as an elegant accompaniment to any meat-heavy main course.

For a piquant twist, try the mash component of my Jägermeister & Guinness-Poached Blood Bangers and Mash, being sure to whip the potatoes vigorously so they develop that airy consistency. The added Dijon mustard twang works perfectly with the hefty flavors here.

You won’t be breaking the bank with this, but your guests won’t know that. They’ll be too busy experiencing truffle nirvana to even speculate.

I N G R E D I E N T S

Serves 4 – 6, depending on appetites. I have eaten an  entire rack of lamb before, so in my case this may serve 1.

  • 1 rack of lamb, frenched
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, minced
  • 2 oz. dried morel mushrooms
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 / 3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 / 2 small shallot, minced
  • 3 oz. black truffle butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 / 2 black truffle, shaved for garnish, for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Salt, as needed
  • Pepper, as needed

O p t i o n a l

For a perfect side, serve with the mash from Hankerings’ Jägermeister & Guinness-Poached Blood Bangers and Mash.

D I R E C T I O N S

  1. Preheat the oven to *450.
  2. Place the dried morels in warm water for 15 minutes to reconstitute the mushrooms Remove from the bowl with a slotted spoon, reserving 1 /4 cup of the liquid for the pan sauce. Cut the stems off, slice the mushrooms in thick rounds, and set aside.
  3. Ensure the fatty membranes are fully removed from the lamb chop bones – if needed trim off of some of the sinew so all that remains are the chops and bones with a cap of fat.
  4. Rub the whole rack of lamb with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, minced rosemary, and salt & pepper, ensuring the seasonings are covering all sides.
  5. In a cast iron skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until near-smoking. Pan sear the lamb rack fat side down first for 3 to 4 minutes. Ensure your vent fan is turned on or a window is open – your kitchen will get smoky.
  6. Sear the rack on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes, so that the underside of the chops have a chance to brown.
  7. Place the lamb in the oven, cooking for 15 minutes for rare and 18 minutes for medium-rare.
  8. Remove the lamb from the oven, and cover with foil while you prepare the pan sauce.
  9. In the same cast iron skillet, add the truffle butter, morels and shallot. Sautee for 3 to 4 minutes until the shallot becomes translucent. Next, add the cornstarch, heavy cream and 1 / 4 cup of the reserved liquid used to reconstitute the mushrooms. Continue to cook on medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced by about half and thickened from the cornstarch. It should be glossy.
  10. Cut the lamb rack into chops, pouring a generous amount of sauce over the plated chops & serve family-style at the table. With a shaving utensil, shave black truffle over the chops, if desired.