Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Roasted Rack of Lamb with a Mint Walnut Pesto

When it comes to really expensive cuts of meat or even semi expensive cuts, I typically defer to Dave to help out with the preparation and cooking method. Why? Well number one, he is the master when it comes to cooking meats and number two, if it doesn't turn out, I don't want to be the only one to blame!

Dave and I used to make rack of lamb all the time but when the boys were younger we just stopped. I think it probably had to do with the fact that when the boys were younger I wasn't sure if they would truly appreciate rack of lamb. I mean my boys have always had adventurous palates and I knew they'd like lamb but would they really love lamb? Why would I spend a lot of money on a cut of meat that they would just like? They LOVE hamburgers, so I'd get a bigger wow factor from them after taking a bite of a juicy burger rather than a piece of lamb. And that was true for a lot of foods, like veal chops or sea bass. My thought process is that I am only willing to buy expensive cuts of meat and seafood for the boys when I am confident that they will truly LOVE it, think it's the best thing ever, and after every bite say "oh my gosh, I am in food heaven!"

Well this was my boys lucky week because I bought 2 french cut racks of lamb for dinner. I felt confident and crossed my fingers that they would love it. Well they didn't just love it, they looked like they were in food heaven. In fact, 2 racks weren't enough, 3 would have been perfect for our family…that's how much they/we loved them. They licked the ribs so clean it looked like a dog got at them! It was a proud moment for me because they truly appreciated the rack of lamb. I think they liked it so much because, as I mentioned earlier, Dave is the master chef when it comes to cooking meats. It was so succulent, tender and juicy…he cooked it to perfection. I made a mint walnut pesto on the side and it was a classic compliment. I also served stilton cheese on the side and Zachary enjoyed taking a bite of lamb and then a bite of stilton. No, the boys didn't want to use knives, they ate the lamb like they were eating lollipops!

Rack of lamb is an elegant cut of meat, but it certainly doesn't have to be served at an elegant affair. We  certainly didn't. It's also very easy to make. Dave just seasoned it with olive oil and salt n pepper and roasted it in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Each rack comes with 8 ribs and it's suggested you serve 2-3 per person. We were more in the camp of eating 3-4 each….so with 5 of us 2 racks wasn't enough. I spent $16.99 a pound and each rack was about 1 1/2 pounds. Yes, expensive but well worth it. If I get the reaction I did from the boys every time I make rack of lamb, I will make it often! I think I'll make sea bass for them next! Salute to Roasted Rack of Lamb and my boys feeling as though they were in food heaven!
2 Racks of Lamb about 1 1/2 pounds each, just add olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper, roast for 20 minutes
Juicy, tender and succulent. Serve with Mint Walnut Pesto and Stilton Cheese. Pure food heaven!
Walnut mint pesto made in the food processor,
takes minutes to make
Classic compliment to the rack of lamb
Roasted Rack of Lamb with Mint Walnut Pesto (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4-5


  • 2 racks of lamb (1 1/2 pounds each)
  • salt n pepper
  • olive oil
Ingredients for Mint Walnut Pesto:
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tb red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the two racks of lamb on a roasting pan and generously rub olive oil and salt and pepper on lamb. Roast in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes for medium rare. When done roasting, let sit out covered for 10 minutes. Slice between each rib and serve with mint walnut pesto.

While lamb is roasting in oven make mint walnut pesto. Add all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until it's a smooth creamy like texture.

Food Impressions:

Nate: "These are like eating pork ribs when we were at the Dinosaur BBQ. I hope there is more because two isn't enough."

Tyler: "Wow, this is super tasty. I almost like it better than steak. I want more too."

Zachary: "I love it with the cheese. There isn't a lot of meat on each rib. Why does Nate get a third piece? I want a third piece."

Dave: "Wow, fantastic job if I do say so myself! These are amazing. Super flavorful and tender. The mint pesto is just ok."

Andrea: Yes, the boys fought over the last few pieces of rack of lamb. I know to buy 3 racks next time. They were out of this world. I agreed with Dave that the mint pesto was just okay. I used to make it with a mustard panko crust and I think I'll stick with that recipe. 

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