Tuesday, February 05, 2008

So decadent

I wanted to make a really nice dinner on Friday night. It'd been a long week and I deserved something nice, something rich, something fancy, something that didn't take very long. Lamb cooks so quickly and is one of those "special night" meats. I usually save it for special occasions like Valentine's Day. It's always a crap shoot as to whether Jon will like it, because, as I've noted before, he always compares it to his dad's.

I saw this really cool recipe where the "crust" for the lamb was made ahead of time and refrigerated in sheet form and then draped over the lamb. This seemed so much easier than the usual breading method and I thought I could apply it here. Scientifically, the soft butter mixes with the bread crumbs and seasoning and then hardens in the fridge to give a great "sheet" which then "attaches" to the lamb as it cooks.

This lamb was just sinfully rich and delicate. And it took hardly any time at all to make, so I could sit back, relax and really enjoy a great meal. It even passed Jon's seal of approval which means this one's a keeper.

Tomato-Olive Crusted Lamb

1/2 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp chopped lemon zest
1/8 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp green olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 Tbsp chopped basil leaves
pinch of cayenne pepper
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 rack of lamb, trimmed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth

1) In medium bowl combine sundried tomatotes, lemon zest, sugar, salt, olives, basil, and cayenne.
2) Add 2 Tbsp butter, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste, and mix with electric mixer
3) Place mixture between 2 long pieces of plastic wrap and press into rectangle, big enough to cover rack of lamb. Refrigerate overnight.
4) Heat oven to 350. Heat oil in large roasting pan over high heat on stovetop. Season lamb with salt and pepper and place in pans. Sear 3 minutes on each side.
5) Transfer pans to oven, roast 5 minutes. Flip lamb; add 2 Tbsp butter, garlic, and thyme to pan. Roast 8 minutes.
6) Remove from oven, transfer lamb to broiling rack. Heat broiler. Remove crust from refrigerator and place over meaty portion of lamb, pressing down to fit. Broil pan 4 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Let lamb rest 15 minutes, then cut into individual chops.
7) Place roasting pan over medium high heat ad add 1/2 cup wine. Simmer until most liquid has evaporated scraping bits to bottom of pans.
8) Add broth and simmer until liquid has reduced by half, stirring.
9) Place fine mesh strainer over medium saucepan; strain contents of both roasting pans into saucepan. Discard solids.
10) Add 1 Tbsp butter. Warm over low heat, stirring until butter melts. Serve gravy over lamb.

Serves 2.
Each serving has:
Calories 677.6
Total Fat 41.7 g
Cholesterol 161.3 mg
Sodium 1,168.6 mg
Potassium 1,160.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.9 g
Protein 53.3 g


  1. Oooh, it looks good. And I'm not a huge fan of the lamb. I'll bet Hubbs would like this one though.

  2. Looks soo good! I am a huge fan of lamb but get so upset when people overcook it. Your lamb came out PERFECTLY and looks absolutely mouth-watering!

  3. Absolutely decandent. This looks so juicy and tasty! I'll have to try this sometime.

  4. I have never tried to make lamb. This recipe just looks amazing--it is on my must-make very, very soon list.

  5. i'm not a lamb fan, but i'll take a sheet of crust, please.

  6. you know, i was just thinking that as much as i usually don't like lamb, that maybe it's time to give it another shot.

    and this recipe is very enticing.

  7. I haven't actually tried making lamb. This looks really good.