Fine Dining Grilling: Rack of Lamb

Fine Dining Grilling: Rack of Lamb

When it comes to "fine dining" grilling (which, yes, does exist), nothing tops a rack of lamb. While I like leg of lamb, lamb chops, and even ground lamb, nothing tops a rack. The rich and tender rib meat is a real treat.

Although prepping and grilling a rack appears to be labor intensive, it is not. Especially since it is so easy to find racks "pre-frenched," with the meat already removed from the bones. Prep time is about zero.

Speaking of bones, I love to grill meat with exposed bones. With a rack of lamb, the love multiplies times the number of bones. My stomach and my heart are easily moved by such a sight.  Plus, there is the whole-chew-meat-off-the-bone factor.

Planning a "big" dinner? This is the recipe. I've made it countless times, and it has never disappointed. Not a lamb fan? Give it a try. You might have inadvertently stumbled on a new favorite meal.

Rack of Lamb with Roasted-Shallot Vinaigrette
by Jamie Purviance

Prep time: 15 minutes
Grilling time: 17 to 19 minutes

Vinaigrette
1 large shallot, about 1 ounce, unpeeled
1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 racks of lamb, 1 to 11⁄2 pounds each, frenched
  Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. To make the vinaigrette: Lightly brush or spray the shallot all over with a bit of the olive oil. Grill over Direct Medium heat until it is blackened in spots and very soft throughout, about 15 minutes, turning once. Remove the shallot from the grill and allow to cool. Remove and discard the peel. Finely chop the shallot and put it in a medium bowl along with the remaining vinaigrette ingredients, whisking in the rest of the olive oil to create a smooth dressing.

2. Trim any excess fat from the lamb. Allow to stand at room temperature 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Lightly brush or spray the lamb with oil and season with the thyme, salt, and pepper. Loosely cover the bones with aluminum foil to keep them from burning. Sear, bone side down first, over Direct Medium heat until lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes, turning once (flareups might occur). Move the lamb over Indirect Medium heat and grill to desired doneness, about 15 minutes more for medium-rare. Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting into chops. Serve warm with the vinaigrette.

Makes 4 servings

What are your thoughts?