Pan-Seared Oven-Finished Salt and Pepper Rack of Lamb with Crispy Smashed Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus
1 rack of lamb
1 lb of fingerling potatoes
1 quart of chicken broth
1 bunch of asparagus
salt and pepper
For the Roasted Asparagus (I made these just like I did before except I omitted the granulated garlic)
1. Wash, trim, peel the stalks with a potato peeler, and lightly coat the stalks with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set the spears aside to roast in the toaster oven later.
For the Crispy Smashed Potatoes (I made these just like the Crispy Garlic-Smashed Potatoes except I omitted the garlic)
1. Place washed potatoes in the chicken broth over medium-high heat and bring to a soft boil. Maintain the soft boil until the potatoes are fork tender.
2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and gently smash each potato with the heel of your hand or large spoon. Fry the potatoes on medium heat until crispy on both sides. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Place potatoes in an oven-safe dish in a 200 degree oven to keep them warm. I did this in two batches.
For the Pan-Seared Oven-Finished Salt and Pepper Rack of Lamb (I took much of the advice from the editors of "Cook's Illustrated" in their book "The Best Meat Recipes" page 271)
1. Trim the large layer of fat from the rack.
2. Keep trimming all the fat possible including the thin layer of meat to expose another layer of fat.
3. At one point I thought I was messing up and trimming too much. Actually, I was freaking out. I thought for sure I was messing up this $27 dollar cut of meat. (I'm still having trouble getting that through my head). I was shocked at how much fat came off such a small rack of lamb. However, it was important to get to that silver membrane, and get rid of that too. You can see the pile of fat to the left and the thin strips of meat to the lower right. (I plan on keeping these thin layers of meat which look like gyro meat for a lamb sandwich).
4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and set on the back burner that vents the oven heat. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and preheat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in an oven-safe frying pan. Pat the rack of lamb dry with paper towel because dry meat browns better. Sprinkle the rack of lamb generously with salt and pepper. Place the rack of lamb in the frying pan meat side down to sear and brown. Let it sear for 3 to 4 minutes on one side.
5. Flip to the other side.
6. Roll back to the meat side down position and place the pan in the oven for 11 minutes or until desired doneness. The 11 minutes gave us the perfect medium rare. There will be varying degrees of doneness between 11 and 15 minutes. NOTE: when I put the lamb in the oven, I put the asparagus in the toaster oven.
7. Remove the rack of lamb from the oven and frying pan to the cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
8. The rack had 8 chops so we each had 4 served with some of the potatoes and asparagus. This really turned out better than I expected, and the ingredient list is surprisingly short.
NOTE: by the way the lamb sandwich was delicious.
1. I made tzatziki, and slathered it on a baguette portion.
2. I fried the left over lamb slices like bacon.
3. Put it all together.
4. If I had red onion I would have added it, but it was delicious without it.