rack of lamb help

What is the prefered rub/marinade for a rack? Is there a special sauce anyone would reccommend?

Will be cooking it on the grill.



I’ve done it various ways – in the big yellow Gourmet Magazine Cookbook there is a recipe that involves bread crumbs, herbs, and mustard. You cover the frenched bone ends with foil and kind of squeeze on this mixture. It tasted good but perhaps a little too fussy. Still, mustard is not a bad flavor with roasted lamb.

I think the best single piece of advice is not to overcook that delicate meat. I think it has enough flavor of its own not to be too dependent on rubs or coatings. Todd English uses a tapenade coating for leg of lamb – black olives and garlic minced together. That’s another good flavor with lamb but perhaps a little coarse for the rack meat.

Good luck with it.

Some salt and pepper, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, lavender if you have it, Herbes de Provence… Rack of lamb doesn’t need a whole lot of seasoning.

For a more formal preparation and method, you can use this recipe as a guide and skip the beans and tapenade (just grill the chops vs. using the oven):


  • Exported from MasterCook *

Rack of Lamb with Flageolet Gratin

Recipe By :Saveur Magazine – Jan. - Feb. 2000
Serving Size : 4
Categories : Beans French

Amount Measure Ingredient – Preparation Method

For the lamb:
2 branches rosemary – (long)
8 sprigs thyme
1 handful thyme – (branches)
4 cloves garlic – smashed and peeled
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 racks lamb – fat trimmed fr bones
2 medium yellow onions – peeled and quartered
1 head garlic – halved

For the Flageolet Gratin:
2 small yellow onions – peeled
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small fennel bulb – trimmed and diced
2 cloves garlic – smashed and peeled
1 cup flageolets – see notes
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1 chiles de arbol – or other dried chile
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons butter – browned
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley – chopped

For Tapenade:
1 clove garlic
1 anchovy filet
1 teaspoon salt-packed capers – chopped and rinsed
1/2 cup nicoise olives – pitted and chopped
1 Tablespoon parsley – chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lemon – juiced

  1. For the lamb:     Mix together the leaves from 2 sprigs of the rosemary, 8 sprigs of the thyme, garlic cloves, oil, and pepper in a small baking dish, then rub the mixture all over the lamb racks.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  (There should be 12 chops in all.)
  2. For the flageolet gratin:     Preheat oven to 400°.  Dice half of 1 onion and saute in oil with fennel and garlic in an oven-proof pot over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in flageolets, cook for 2-3 minutes, then add thyme, bay leaf, chile, and 3 cups water.  Bake, covered, until tender, about 1 hour.  Season to taste with salt halfway through cooking (add more water if beans dry out).  Set aside to cool (remove and discard bay leaf and chile).  Leave oven on.
  3. Thinly slice remaining 1 1/2 onions and saute in butter in a medium pan over medium heat until golden, about 15 minutes.  Spread onions in the bottom of a 6" x 6" baking dish [or oval  gratin casserole], then spoon in flageolets with some of their cooking juices.  Toss bread crumbs with brown butter* and parsley, sprinkle over beans, and return to oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Season lamb with salt, then sear on all sides in a cast-iron pan [or suitable frying pan] over high heat, with rosemary branches, broken into a few pieces, and thyme branches. Scatter onion wedges and garlic in a roasting pan, put lamb on top, and roast in oven for 20-25 minutes. Set lamb aside to rest for 5 minutes. Remove flageolets from oven when bubbling and golden, and divide between 4 plates. Slice each rack into 6 chops, place 3 chops on top of each serving of flageolets [arrange chops so the bones form a triagle in the center], and spoon some tapenade over the meat.

*BROWN BUTTER: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Butter will foam, then change color quickly; remove from heat when it turns nut brown. Let sediment fall to bottom before pouring off brown butter for use.

TAPENADE: Crush 1 clove garlic and 1 anchovy filet with a mortar and pestle [or sharp kitchen knife], then mix in capers, olives, and parsley. Stir in olive oil add juice from lemon, and combine well with a fork. Makes 1/2 cup.

Suggested Wine: Red Rhone

Serving Ideas : fresh baby spinach w/oil & lemon; French bread

NOTES : The small, pale green kidney-shaped beans called flageolets are a classic accompaniment for lamb in traditional French cuisine.

Substitute Kalamata olives if Nicoise olives are not available.

White beans can be used in place of flageolets. Use the quick soak method and proceed with recipe.

Order dried flageolet beans from Zursun, Ltd. ($3 a pound, plus shipping; 800/424-8881) according to the Jan.-Feb. 2000 issue of Saveur Magazine.

Note from Nancy: I surrounded the beans and chops with fresh baby spinach leaves, then I drizzled some of the garlic, oil and lemon from the tapenade over the spinach.

What Nancy said. FWIW, Herbes de Provence have both rosemary and lavender in them. I prefer to use HdP on pork and stick with rosemary on lamb. Don’t cook past medium rare.

I was thinking some rosemary, thyme, salt pepper and olive oil.

maybe a mustard cream sauce on the side.

i was looking at goinf to 135 on the temp. is that aboout right? then let it rest for a bit before slicing.

I’d go for 130, but that’s quibbling. The mustard cream sauce would be good. It’s great on pork.

Yes, Bobby. Any combination of herbs or just rosemary is fine with me. Just throwing out the ideas. I usually make my own blend of herbs from the garden and use whatever is growing well! Have a great fourth.

Keep it rare, John! Let us know how it turns out.

WIll do. thanks for the ideas. gonna go get some fresh sweet corn from a friends garden. Some fresh tomato and mozzarella. should be a good dinner.

When I cook it in the oven I cover it in a caramelized shallot and panko breadcrumb mixture with salt, pepper, rosemary.

I serve it with a port and red wine reduction sauce.

THanks to all the suggestions. Turned out great. Did one rack with a Cabernet, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, salt & pepper marinade. I thought it was good, but it would have been beter to marinate longer. The other rack I just did with Montreal and olive oil. cooked to 135 and let rest for about 10 mins.

Also made a Mustard cream sauce for the side.

Caprese salad and fresh sweet corn.

Drank my last bottle of Cabot vineyard “Bacon Fat”. Not sure if this was the correct pairing, but we liked it. I hope I can get some more.

Thanks to all those for input.