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Simple Roast Rack Of Lamb, The Perfect Holiday Meal
Making a roast rack of lamb is a sure way to impress your dinner guests. With the help of ALDI, I was able to source the ingredients for this show stopper of a dish, perfect for your Sunday night dinner or special holiday meal!
Here’s why we love it so much:
- Tender, juicy lamb: Searing the lamb ribs first creates a golden brown exterior, while finishing in the oven helps them stay moist and juicy without overcooking.
- Flavor! Both from the crust — goat cheese and rosemary work so well together! — and from the actual lamb meat itself.
- Elegant! Lamb chops on their own are a delicious meal, but when you cook the ribs together like this in a lamb rack, it is a total showstopper. Cutting into those individual chops at the end and seeing a beautiful pink, medium-rare is the best ever.
Ingredients For Roast Rack Of Lamb
- ALDI Specially Selected Frenched Rack of Lamb (approximate weight ~2 lbs) – the star of the show!
- Grapeseed or canola oil – we recommend a light, neutral oil, but if you prefer olive oil, that works too!
- Panko breadcrumbs – Japanese breadcrumbs that are crunchier and coarser than traditional dried breadcrumbs. They are also oil-resistant when frying or baking, making them extremely crunchy!
- 4 oz Emporium Selection Goat Cheese – part of the topping added to the lamb before roasting. Mixed with breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, and dijon before being pressed on top of seared lamb. Adds tanginess and brightness
- Fresh rosemary – for an earthy flavor that adds a slight taste of pine and woodiness to the dish. Thyme is perfect too!
- Dijon mustard – a bold mustard flavor with a hint of acidity of vinegar
- Garlic – adds a gentle flavor to the topping
- Kosher salt – to season the lamb and other ingredients
- Black pepper – to season the dish
- Red grapes – roasted grapes add a nice sweetness and pair beautifully with the tangy goat cheese
To make red wine reduction
- 2 cups red wine, such as Crestwood Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 3 sprigs rosemary (or thyme)
- 3 cloves garlic
Red Wine Sauce
This could not be simpler! Combine 2 cups each of red wine and chicken stock in a large sauce pan with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (or thyme) and 3 crushed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then continue cooking for about 25 minutes. The sauce will reduce to ~¾ – 1 cup. Set aside until ready to serve.
Note: this can be made 1-2 days ahead and reheated before serving.
How To Best Cook Rack Of Lamb
After a quick sear on a stove top in a screaming hot pan, roast the rack of lamb. So much flavor, and we find it easy to monitor the internal temperature. Keep a meat thermometer on standby to ensure proper cooking!
Make The Panko Topping
Place panko, goat cheese, rosemary, garlic, Kosher salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Use a spatula or spoon to combine ingredients until well incorporated. You can also pulse these ingredients together in a food processor, but I find it annoying to clean for something that can be mixed easily in a small bowl.
Cooking Time And Temperature For Rack Of Lamb
Preheat an oven to 425F, then heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. When hot, add a couple tablespoons of a neutral or like oil (such as grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil), then add rack of lamb meat side down, fat side up. Cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total.
Remove and allow lamb to cool slightly, then brush meat with Dijon mustard. Press panko and goat cheese mixture firmly on top of lamb, then return to cast iron skillet. Surround the lamb with red grapes and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (or thyme, if using).
Cook for 25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 120-125F (for medium-rare). Cover loosely with aluminum foil, then allow lamb to rest for 8-10 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife into single or double chops. This will allow the natural juice from the meat to redistribute instead of leaking all over the cutting board.
We recommend the Thermapen MK4 to check for doneness on all meats!
Best Side Dishes For Roast Lamb
First, let’s talk about the roasted grapes. These, along with the red wine sauce, are such a crazy delicious pairing alongside roast rack of lamb. The wine, grapes and goat cheese all work so beautifully together. I like to serve this with the best ever crispy roasted potatoes and a big green salad.
Other side dishes we love:
- Creamy polenta
- Oven roasted broccoli or broccolini
- Grilled asparagus
- Red skin mashed potatoes
- Garlic spinach and white beans
Tips For Making Rack Of Lamb
- As with all meats, sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt just before serving. This final step can take a dish from good to great. Trust us!
- Take the lamb out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes before you begin cooking to allow the meat to get to room temperature. It will cook more evenly!
- If you can’t find a frenched rack of lamb, ask your butcher to trim it for you! They’re happy to do it, and then you’ve got those clean, beautiful rib bones off the lamb chops. It looks beautiful.
Want to try something other than the wine sauce? (We get it — not everyone loves wine as much as we do!) Try serving the roast rack of lamb with bright and zesty chermoula!
This delicious, tender rack of lamb is the perfect roast to cook up for your family! It’s so well received, by adults and kiddos alike!
As part of my Date Night In series, I’m offering up a few wine suggestions to serve alongside. Because the tomatoes are kept raw in this preparation (read: higher acidity than if they were cooked), you’re going to want to stick with wines that mirror that (aka: have a higher acidity).
Red wine: my go-to for rack of lamb is often a robust wine like Chianti Classico, with it’s rich notes of cherries and figs. The fresh acidity offsets the fattiness of the meat. It is so delicious with this rack of lamb recipe! Two other great reds to consider: Cabernet Sauvignin (good ol’ faithful when it comes to lamb!) or a Bordeaux-style Zinfandel.
Rosé wine: A dry rosé — even a rosé Champagne! Because the goat cheese is such a prominent flavor in this recipe, I’d look for a rosé from Sancerre, as that region is known for its goat cheese and the wines pair beautifully together!
White wine: Steer clear of white wines that are too acidic, and instead reach for something with a bit more complexity, such as an unoaked Chardonnay or a rich Viognier (though I insist you try this with a red first, it’s the best pairing!).
Beyond excited for you to enjoy this with your loved ones. If you make Roast Rack of Lamb recipe, please let us know by leaving a rating and review below!
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For more holiday-worthy meals, check out the following recipes:
- Simple weeknight salmon escabeche
- Pan seared scallops with browned butter
- Skillet anchovy chicken with garlic
- Slow baked salmon with herb shallot butter
- Crab pasta with lemon and capers
Roast Rack of Lamb
For red wine sauce
- 2 cups red wine such as Crestwood Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon (this wine is found exclusively at ALDI)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 (~2 lb) Specially Selected Frenched Rack of Lamb
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or other light oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 4 oz Happy Farms Preferred Goat Cheese room temperature
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary chopped, plus more for roasting
- 2 Tbsp garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt divided
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper divided
- 2 cups red grapes
- flaky sea salt for serving
To make red wine sauce
- Combine red wine, chicken stock, rosemary and garlic in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then continue cooking until liquid has reduced to about ¾ – 1 cup, about 25 minutes. Strain sauce, then set aside.
To cook lamb
- About 30 minutes before cooking, remove lamb from refrigerator to come to room temperature. Place on a plate and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Set aside 1 tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp black pepper, then use remaining salt and pepper to season lamb on all sides.
- Heat oil in a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet. When hot, place lamb meat side down and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
- Place panko, goat cheese, rosemary, garlic, remaining kosher salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Use a spatula or spoon to combine ingredients until well incorporated.
- Use a pastry brush or spoon to spread Dijon mustard evenly on meat. Use hands to press goat cheese-panko mixture firmly on top of rack of lamb. Return lamb to cast iron skillet. Surround lamb with 2 cups of red grapes and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Cook for 25 minutes, or until lamb has reached an internal temperature of 120-125F (for medium rare).
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil, then allow meat to rest 8-10 minutes. Lamb will continue cooking and internal temperature will rise 5-10 degrees more. When ready, cut into single or double chops and serve with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, roasted grapes, and red wine sauce.
This post was originally published in April 2020 and has since been updated with tips and tricks to help make it easier to create at home.