Don’t Call it Mutton.

A lot of people unfamiliar with lamb are under the impression that it tastes somewhat “gamey.” The fact is, because of breeding and diet, modern lamb tastes about as different from beef as, say, turkey tastes different from chicken. It definitely tastes more like beef than pork tastes like either one.

Unfortunately, people’s bad experiences with lamb are frequently associated with the fact that lamb fat burns very easily. Lamb fat has a high melting point, because it is high in stearic acid. If we treat it like beef, it can develop a very bitter and unpleasant crust and aroma. If you roast or broil it with the bones exposed, they will almost certainly scorch, and even catch fire like a candle.

There are ways to avoid these pitfalls, which we will explain here.

HERE is the link to the concise recipe

HERE is a fun little video too!

  • Pasteurize your lamb rack via sous vide or sans vide @127F/53CX6-8 hours.
  • Shock cold in the bag to 70F/21C.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use, or proceed.
  • This step, in itself, helps prevent scorching.

  • Sprinkle the fatty side with S+P, and lay in a 250F/121C ovenproof pan.
  • Be careful not to scorch–this process does not take very long.

  • Since the fatty side is somewhat rounded, I scoot the pan over on the burner and lean the lamb on the side of the pan.
  • Some people think this is a little fussy.

  • Flip the rack, and brown the bottom side a little bit, not much.
  • We’ll be putting the whole pan into the oven soon.

  • Paint the top surface lightly with Dijon mustard, or really, any mustard that you like.
  • We used to use that powdered English mustard; that was pretty hot, but people seemed to like it.
  • They may have felt obliged to; that was back in the day when many people were afraid to complain in fancy restaurants.
  • This doesn’t seem to be a problem any more.
  • Sprinkle the top with fine bread crumbs.
  • Sometimes I make my own, but purchased bread crumbs are okay.
  • They make them out of bread.
  • In the old days, we used to trade stale French bread back to the bakery for fresh, and they would use it to make crumbs, which they would then sell.
  • This idea would be unthinkable in the modern era of paranoia about terrorism and wackos putting weird stuff in Halloween apples.

We’ve Become Very Sheepish.

  • Back then, we were instructed to insist that the bones be wrapped in foil, or even parchment.
  • The parchment was a real pain.
  • I haven’t seen it done in a while, but it really does make a difference.
  • We used to make those little paper frilled hats to stick on the bones too, now it’s hard to even find them to buy…
  • I make them once in a while just for fun.
  • One of these days, I’ll stick some on a chicken drumstick or something.
  • Okay, let the lamb rest in the pan while we do the Potatoes Carbonara.

  • Heat your pan to 225F/107C and add a little oil.
  • Add 4 diced red potatoes, make sure they are dry.
  • The pan should be large enough so the potatoes don’t end up getting stacked on top of each other.
  • That’s what makes them stick; a lot of people don’t know that.

  • For this application, we really don’t want the potatoes to get very brown, but a little bit is okay.
  • Over stirring will also make them stick.
  • Relax.
  • Sip a beverage.

  • Once the potatoes have started to soften and seem a little dry, add some chopped onions.
  • If you add the onions too early, all that steam in the pan will give you a mushy result.

  • Once the onions have become translucent, add some chopped ham.
  • S+P.

  • Fry the ham until it softens, and add some cream and a couple of oz. of butter.

  • Add one pre-scrambled egg.

  • Add a little Pecorino Romano.

  • Bring JUST TO A SIMMER.
  • Boiling will cause the eggs to release water into the sauce, and the cheese will become stringy.
  • I have this thing about boiling things with cheese in them.
  • I don’t like it.
  • Cover the potatoes and set aside.

Back to the Lamb.

  • Preheat your oven to 450F/232C.
  • In we go.
  • There is no way to tell you exactly how long to leave the lamb in there.
  • It depends on many things, too many things to list.
  • I would say fifteen minutes, but, really, look for these characteristics.
  • The crust should be nicely brown.
  • This doesn’t mean the lamb is done, but if the crust isn’t done, then the lamb probably isn’t either.
  • If you gently squeeze the ends towards each other, they should feel springy.
  • Everybody has a slightly different idea of what “springy” means.
  • Cut ONE CHOP OFF.
  • If it’s too rare, put it back in the oven for just a few minutes.

  • This looks right to me. It feels right. It scooched just a little bit.

Do this next.

  • Turn the oven on broil.
  • Put some of the potatoes on your plates.

  • Broil them until they get brown on top, and you will see a little butter come out around the edges.
  • That’s okay.

  • Drizzle some Cranberry Paste around the outside.
  • Put some Pear Membrillo in the center.
  • Arrange a few grape tomatoes around, make sure you cut them in half.
  • I hate biting into a whole cherry tomato.

  • Cut the lamb into chops.

  • This one is for my wife.
  • She likes it a little bit more done.
  • No shame in that.
  • I just use the propane torch on the cutting board or right there on the plate, while she watches.
  • Then, she’ll say “THAT’S GOOD!”

  • Arrange the chops so the bone is standing up high, and shingle from right to left.
  • Those of you who know me know why I do this. If you have never heard of the 7 o’clock rule, you can visit us HERE and ask me in person!