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The Foodist: Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sweet Mint-Almond Relish

The Foodist: Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sweet Mint-Almond Relish
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Rack of lamb with mint-almond relish

Slowly roasted rack of lamb with sweet mint-almond relish ensures that the lamb is tender and juicy. Leave it in the oven until it reaches the safe temperature. This is because it browns so quickly when we give it a final sear in a hot skillet but the interior stays moist.

The seared finish is delightful. Sprinkle the freshly seared lambchop with anise salt! The rack is served with a simple relish dresses up the roast.

INGREDIENTS

Lamb
  •  2 (1 3/4- to 2-pound) racks of lamb, fat trimmed to 1/8 to 1/4 inch and rib bones frenched
  •  Kosher salt
  •  1 teaspoon ground anise seed
  •  1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Relish
  • ½ cup minced fresh mint
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted and chopped fine (not too fine or it will be gritty) 
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red currant jelly
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

For The Lamb:
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Using sharp knife, cut slits in fat cap, spaced 1/2 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern (cut down to, but not into, meat).
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons salt and anise in bowl. Rub 3/4 teaspoon salt mixture over entire surface of each rack and into slits. Reserve remaining salt mixture.
  4. Place racks, bone side down, on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Roast until meat registers 125 degrees for medium-rare or 130 degrees for medium, 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes.
  6. Heat vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking.
  7. Place 1 rack, bone side up, in skillet and cook until well browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Transfer to carving board. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon fat from skillet and repeat browning with second rack.
  9. Tent racks with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Cut between ribs to separate chops and sprinkle cut side of chops with 1/2 teaspoon salt mixture.
  11. Serve, passing relish and remaining salt mixture separately.
For The Relish:
  1. Combine mint, almonds, olive oil, jelly, vinegar, and mustard in bowl.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.
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