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Whether you’re a longtime lamb aficionado or an adventuresome beginner, this elegant-yet-easy rack of lamb is bound to delight both you and your guests. Organic, pasture-raised lamb is incredibly nutrient dense—high in protein and healthy fats, with a wide range of minerals and micronutrients—and a refreshing change of pace if beef is the only red meat in your suppertime rotation. And while diners in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Spain have celebrated centuries-long cuisine cultures incorporating lamb, Americans—whose consumption has remained below a pound per year per person for decades—are rediscovering lamb’s delicate flavor and high nutritional profile.
For the Mint Chimichurri:
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley, leaves only
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 6 tablespoons organic olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the Rack of Lamb:
- 2 8-rib frenched racks of lamb (each rack about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- Edible flowers, for garnish
- Additional mint leaves, for garnish
Prepare the Mint Chimichurri: Add the mint, Italian parsley, garlic, shallot, olive oil, vinegar, honey, and salt to a food processor and pulse to desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally (I like a bit of texture in mine, while others might prefer a silkier texture). Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Prepare the Lamb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove racks from refrigerator, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Score the fat lightly down the midpoint between each rib bone. Place the racks of lamb on a wire rack over a drip pan to dry completely.
Combine the butter, rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and blend thoroughly. Spread this mixture onto meat, avoiding the bones, and let rest for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear each rack, one at a time, using tongs to rotate meat, until you achieve an even golden-brown color on all sides and the ends, removing each to a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.
Wrap the exposed bones loosely with foil and transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 120°F. Remove from the oven, remove the foil from bones, tent the baking sheet with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
To serve, drizzle a platter with the mint chimichurri and place the racks of lamb on top, with the exposed bones up and interlaced. Garnish with mint leaves and edible flowers. Slice into chops to serve.
On the Lam(b): Organic grassfed lamb is becoming increasingly easy to find at larger farmers markets and even major supermarket chains such as Whole Foods Market; check Local Harvest (localharvest.org) for purveyors in your area. For online purchases, a good place to start is the American Grassfed Association (americangrassfed.org).
Pretty Pickin’s: The edible flowers for this recipe were harvested at The Inn at Dos Brisas, a 313-acre organic farm in Washington, Texas, that’s home to the Lone Star State’s only Forbes five-star restaurant, overnight accommodations in luxurious haciendas and casitas, and an equestrian program.For more information, visit dosbrisas.com.