I don’t make lamb often, but I think it’s perfect for Easter if you want something different than ham. Lamb chops, like Garlic Basil Lamb Chops are fine for everyday, but for Easter Herbed Rack of Lamb is the way to go. It’s tender and flavorful, and easy to make. A rub made with olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, rosemary, and thyme (plus salt and pepper, of course) is spread across the rack, then the rack goes into a freezer bag and into the fridge for a few hours.
Herbed Rack of Lamb
Bring the rack of lamb to room temperature for 1-2 hours before baking, so that it backs evenly. How long it bakes depends on how rare or well done you want it, so use a meat thermometer. The USDA recommends cooking to at least 145 degrees, but for rare lamb you will want to cook it to only 125. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing. I bake ours to 145 in the middle of the rack. This results in more well done on the outer ribs, and slightly more rare on the inside. You can easily heat individual ribs of lamb in a pan on the stove for a minute or two if you need more well done.
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Serves 1-2 lamb ribs
Classic Herbed Rack of Lamb, marinated in olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs, makes a simply elegant main course for Easter.
4 hrPrep Time
45 minCook Time
4 hr, 45 Total Time
- 1 1/2 pound Frenched* rack of lamb
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (Greek or regular)
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed between your fingers)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon corse Kosher sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Combine the minced garlic, chopped oregano, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, and black pepper with the olive oil and lemon juice to create a rub. Mix well.
- Rub the lamb rack all over with the rub. Place the lamb with the rub in a large freezer bag, squeeze out the air and seal. Place the bag on a plate and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, turning occasionally, up to overnight.
- Bring the lamb out of the refrigerator at least one hour before baking. Score the fat with a sharp knife all over. Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Remove the rack from the bag and place on a baking pan. Cover the exposed ribs with aluminum foil.
- Roast on the middle shelf of the oven for 10-15 minutes to brown the top, then reduce the heat to 300F. Continue to roast for 10-30 minutes longer, checking the temperature after 10 minutes, until the meat in the middle of the rack reaches desired temperature, 120-125 Rare, 135-145 medium.
Prep time includes shortest marinating time. Cook time is for medium. *Frenched lamb is cut so that the rib bones are exposed. A rack of lamb purchased in a grocery store will normally be already Frenched, or ask your butcher to do it for you.
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