Detroit Eats

Musings of A Detroit Based Food Fanatic

On the Grill – Rack of Lamb

with 10 comments


Chop 3  

     Years ago I worked at a very well known restaurant here in Detroit. As a line Chef it was my responsibility to prepare several of the menu items to order. I remember many of the items I prepared. On the appetizer menu there was a Calamari with a Tomato and Basil Burre Blanc and Oysters Rockefeller. For entrees I remember Sautéed Whitefish, Sweetbreads,Roast Duck with a Rosemary infused Red Wine and Honey reduction and Rack of Lamb. I loved Rack of lamb. One of the reasons was that in a Lamb Rack (double rack) there are 9 bone. Now a portion at the restaurant was 4 bones so I would get 2 orders plus one end piece that couldn’t be served. being and end piece it wasn’t a full chop and only had a small amount of meat. What to do with this chop. Many times it was sacrificed for quality control. You can read into that what you like! Ever since this experience Rack of Lamb has been one of my favorites.

     Due to the cost involved I don’t get to have Rack of Lamb often and almost never order it in a restaurant but I went shopping today and what did I find on sale but Rack of Lamb. It was still pricy but I couldn’t pass it up. I immediately took it home and started to marinate it. Since I was planning on cooking it over charcoal I though a Mediterranean approach would be in order. In Italy or Greece this would have meant meant olive oil, garlic,lemon and fresh rosemary but several years ago I discovered a Middle Eastern spice blend called Zatar. Zatar is a spice blend with many uses. It is sprinkled on pita dough before baking. It is also a seasoning for meats. Once I added it to my rack of lamb marinade there was no going back. The rosemary was out and the Zatar was in.

With the weather warming up again it was a pretty good day for grilling. I built the fire so that I could take advantage of indirect heat cooking while being able to move my Lamb onto the fire as I felt necessary. I also soaked a few hickory chips to take advantage of the smoke. This method produces a very nice Rack of Lamb!

     Unfortunately I can’t really offer a real recipe for this dish as it’s always been something I have just done as a technique.I’m hoping that I’ve given enough information so that anyone who likes lamb but was intimidated by cooking a rack will it will give it a try. I am always available to answer question about cooking so folks shouldn’t hesitate to ask!

    To go along with the Lamb I served a Mushroom Risotto and Sautéed Spinach.

Mushroom Risotto

  • 1½ cups Orzo
  • 1 qt mushroom or Chicken stock
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (½ stick)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

    Heat your stock up separately and reserve. Keep warm.

    Sauté the onion and mushroom in a little vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of butter until the onion is soft.

    Add the orzo and continue stirring until the rice is coated with the oil.

    Add the wine and continue stirring until all the wine is absorbed.

    Lower the flame to medium and slowly add the stock a little bit at a time and stir constantly. You don’t have to stir fast but you must continue stirring. Continue adding stock until the orzo swell and your mix gets creamy (20 – 30 minutes). Test the orzo to make sure it is not crunchy if it is add more stock.

    When the Orzo is done stir in the remaining Butter and Parmesan cheese and serve immediately)

    Notes:

    • Zatar is available in any Middle Eastern grocery and a little goes a long way so it’s worth the investment.
    • For presentation sake I like to buy Racks that have been Frenched. What this means is that the fat and connective tissue that exists between each bone has been removed and the bones scraped. This gives your chops that nice “Lollipop” effect If I can’t get it that way I French it myself.
    • Remember to let your meat “rest”. This allows the juices to settle and they won’t run out of the meat when you cut into it.
    • With lamb I never cook past medium rare. The meat should be pink but not bloody.
    • For the Risotto I like to use orzo instead of Arborio Rice. It works just as well and I like the texture of the grain.
    • Using a wild mushroom in the Risotto is a great way to go but not absolutely essential.
    • Do not walk away from the Risotto it need to be stirred continually.
    • If your Risotto seems too thick add a little heavy cream or stock to make it creamy again.

    rack 1 

  • Bon Appétit!

  • Advertisements

    Written by Ed Schenk

    April 12, 2010 at 5:42 am

    10 Responses

    Subscribe to comments with RSS.

    1. I love all the things in this recipe ED – Love LAMB! LOVE sumac, LOVE zatar and the risotto with orzo is lovely too.

      Excellent post! You have created a lovely combination of flavors.

      Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

      Devaki

      April 15, 2010 at 1:36 am

    2. The rack looks great. Love the flavor profile of the risotto. Cheers!

      Lazaro

      April 15, 2010 at 12:36 am

      • The risotto with orzo is really interesting. I haven’t heard of anyone doing a risotto that way.

        Ed Schenk

        April 15, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    3. I bought some Zatar and Sumac at a local weekend markets. And honestly, I havent tried using it. Will try your recipe with it…… Thanks for sharing this..

      Mhe-Lhanee Benito

      April 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    4. Wow, what a nice piece of meat…and the risotto with orzo pasta looks delicious…great combination!

      Juliana

      April 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    5. I’ve been threatening a rack or leg of lamb for two weeks now. You’ve given me inspiration. This risoto sounds wonderful. Thanks for the recipe.

      leaannbrown

      April 12, 2010 at 8:35 am


    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: