Seared and Roasted French Rack of Lamb
I always liked lamb. Leg of lamb is what we usually had at our house when I was growing up. Mom always served it with a jar of mint jelly to cover up the strong flavor of the lamb. I liked the flavor of the lamb, but many don’t. I enjoyed the mint jelly anyway!!
Lamb racks, also called frenched lamb racks or lamb rib roast are especially good, and does not have the same strong flavor as the more active muscles on a lamb…like a leg of lamb. Lamb lovers love lamb racks. And non-lamb lovers are surprised at the mild sweet flavor. I call them Lamb Lolipops, and I have heard the term “Lambsicles”. Yum. It is kind of like eating a new flavor of fillet mignon on a stick. Thanks to a friend Lee (aka: QSis) for introducing me to this cut, and recommending the sear/roast method.
- One "frenched" rack of lamb
- Dizzy Pig® Red Eye Express
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sherry
- Whisk oil and soy sauce, a squirt of sherry and some black pepper.
- Coat lamb in mixture.
- Sit in marinade for 2 hours.
- Apply a generous coating of Dizzy Pig’s Red Eye Express.
- Prepare your grill for direct cooking with a hot fire.
- Sear meat on both sides until browned and slightly charred.
- With good searing temps, 2-4 minutes a side is all that is needed.
- Once you have a good sear, the rack is ready for roasting.
- While lamb is resting:
- prepare your cooker for indirect roasting at 325-400F with a drip pan or barrier.
- Return rack of lamb to cooker and cook another 10-15 minutes at 325-400F.
- Rack of lamb should have internal temp of 125-135F.*
- Rest the meat for 10-20 minutes before cutting.
I usually give the rack a real light marinade. A couple tbsp of oil and soy sauce, a squirt of sherry and some black pepper whisked together works for me. Just a little hit of flavor along with the oil, which helps the rub adhere, and lubricates the meat a tad during the sear.
After a few hours marinade, the meat is ready to be rubbed. Dizzy Pig’s Red Eye Express is nice on lamb, and it is what I used here. It has a nice rich balance of flavors, including coffee, fennel, dill seed, and a nice dose of turbinado sugar and pepper. Cow Lick, Dizzy Dust also come to mind as good choices. While the rub settled in and melted (about an hour) get your cooker going hot. With a medium load of lump charcoal my egg settled in on a steady 650F.
With good searing temps, 2-4 minutes a side is all that is needed for a good sear. Below is the rack ready to flip onto side two. It helps to peek after a couple minutes and see how the sear is going. The last thing you want to do is char it to a crisp. Once a good sear is had, flip it on over. Use care to free up any areas that might be sticking, otherwise you could rip off precious crust during the flip!
After both sides are seared well the rack is ready for roasting. The meat is still very rare inside, and needs to be finished off to a medium rare (recommended). Roasting at 325-400F without the direct heat of the coals will complete the project. I suppose you could even finish it in the oven. I was lucky enough to be able to move the meat to another cooker where I was grilling some potatoes at 350F. But if you only have one cooker, remove the seared rack and rest on a plate while you set up a barrier to block the heat of the coals. A drip pan and v-rack would work well. Return rack-o-lamb to cooker and cook another 10-15 minutes at 325-400F until the internal temp is 125-135F.
An internal temperature of 125-130F will yield a dark pink juicy meat. Do not overcook this cut! If you or your guests really like your meat done, then you could probably go to 140F internal, but past that the tender meat will be dry and less tender. Rest the meat for 10-20 minutes before cutting to give the juices a chance to redistribute and settle!
Using Dizzy Pig rubs will help you achieve an awesome flavorful crust. We hope you enjoy!