Monday, February 15, 2010

Rack of Lamb and Parmesan Polenta

One of my go to easy entertaining dishes is definitely rack of lamb. Costco sells a good rack of lamb for a very affordable price. Sure you could go to a butcher and spend a lot more for fancier meat, but I find the Costco lamb to be just fine for me and mine. This particular recipe made its debut on my table this past Christmas when my family was out for the holidays. It has a very easy yet high in flavor rub that knocks this one out of the park. The mix of fresh rosemary from my garden, bright cloves of garlic with tangy luscious mustard and a splash of sweet balsamic vinegar…this lamb never had a chance; it was meant to be down right finger lickin’ good.

I serve this dish with a side of parmesan polenta and smashed peas with mint, though I didn’t have the energy for smashed peas last night, so I’ll have to make them another time to share. But the parmesan polenta gets better every time I make and it reheats beautifully. I’ve also been known to sit in from of the frige digging into a cold dish of it with just a spoon and a smile on my face. I am sucker for anything with cheese after all.

Herb and Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb
(Courtesy of the Barefoot Contessa)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 racks of lamb, "frenched" (see note)

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the salt, rosemary, and garlic until they're as finely minced as possible. Add the mustard and balsamic vinegar and process for 1 minute. You can also do this with your good old knife and spoon as I did here.

Place the lamb in a roasting or sheet pan with the ribs curving down, and coat the tops with the mustard mixture. Allow to stand for 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Roast the lamb for exactly 20 minutes for rare or 25 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then cut into individual ribs and serve.
Note: "Frenching" refers to scraping the meat off the tips of the bones. Ask your butcher to leave 1/8 inch of fat on the meat.

Parmesan Polenta
(Adapted from Epicursious)

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup whipping cream (plus some to taste)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

Combine water and cornmeal in small bowl. Bring broth to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal mixture, stirring until well blended. Reduce heat to low and simmer until polenta is very thick, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Mix in 1 cup cheese, cream and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If it is too thick or you want slightly creamier texture, use a bit more cream. Transfer polenta to serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese over.

1 comment:

  1. This was superb! The hour in the fridge and extra resting time were great ideas. The balsamic is a nice substitute for saltier soy. Your pix were very helpful in preparing the dish.