Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallot and Pecan Crust

photography Lauren Mann
Adding Reduced Balsamic Vinegar to the Caramelized Shallots

photography Lauren Mann
Adding Reduced Balsamic Vinegar to the Caramelized Shallots

photography Lauren Mann
Adding pecans and bread crumbs. Usually I use panko but
we didn't have any. Marilee had an organic whole wheat hot dog
bun from Whole Foods, so we toasted it and used that!

photography Lauren Mann
Stirring in the flat-leaf parsley

photography Lauren Mann
The completed crust is so good I could eat it just like this!

photography Lauren Mann
Grill the lamb first and then coat with your favorite mustard (mine is Plochman's)
Then put on the crust and finish lamb in the oven. If you don't have a grill you can
pan sear the lamb.

photography Lauren Mann
Putting the crust on.

photography Lauren Mann
The finished Lamb. The amount of time it cooks in the oven depends on
how rare you like it. I like mine rare. Cook it 5 minutes longer for Medium rare.

This is one of my favorite entrees that we make for catering. You can also serve smaller individual lamb chops for hors d'oeuvres for those that like to eat it off the bone. In catering I'll sometimes make a lamb stock to go with it, but this crust is so good you truly don't need a sauce. I trim the thick slab of fat of the lamb before I grill it. For a picture of my favorite Plochman's mustard that I'm always raving about click here: http://themailifiles.blogspot.com/2009/09/dittmar-apples.html

Serves 6-8

4 racks of lamb (each lamb has 8 chops, so each person gets 4 or 5)
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper, optional
8 teaspoons mustard (I use Plochman's)
2 cups Crust (recipe follows)

Trim each of the racks of lamb by cutting away the thick strip of fat that is over the top of the meat and the bones. Then, if you'd like to trim the bones further use a sharp paring knife and "French" the racks further and scrape the bones perfectly clean. (you really only need to do this in catering. I rarely do it when cooking at home for friends.) Trim away visible silverskin.

Heat grill to high. Rub olive oil over the meat and season meat well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover exposed bones with aluminum foil to prevent burning them on the grill.

Cook the lamb over a hot grill for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove to a sturdy baking sheet (what I call a half-sheet pan) Spread two teaspoons of mustard over the top of each rack. Pack a 1/2 cup of the crust (recipe below) on each rack. It is okay if a little falls off.

Roast in a 375 oven for 15 minutes for rare. Cook 5 minutes more for medium rare.

makes enough for 4 racks of lamb

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 whole large shallots, minced (yellow onion may be substituted, use 1 small onion)
a few tablespoons of water to help with caramelization
pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
1/4 cup reduced balsamic vinegar (see note below on reducing vinegar)
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped (in most recipes I roast pecans before adding them to what I'm making but in this case they cook in the oven, so you don't need to roast them ahead of time.)
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs, (french bread crumbs can be substituted. do not buy bread crumbs or seasoned bread crumbs from a box! use real bread and make your own. if you want to buy something already done than use the panko)
1 bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
more salt to taste if necessary

Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium high heat.. Add shallots and a pinch of slat and cook until shallots begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes. You may need to adjust the heat to medium depending on your stove. (Note: if shallots get too brown too quickly then add water and continue cooking. Do not add vinegar too soon because acid stops the caramelization process but water does not.)

Add reduced balsamic vinegar. Turn off heat and stir in panko (or other bread crumbs,) pecans, flat-leaf parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: Reduced Balsamic. I buy the big jars of balsamic vinegar from Costco. Then I cook them over low heat for a long time until the liquid is reduced by half. I then put it squeeze bottles or a jar. I use it on everything from salad dressing to tomatoes to stuffed squash blossoms. It takes ordinary balsamic and makes it taste like aged expensive vinegar. Worth the time and it lasts forever.

Lamb, Draft 1 typed by Kelly McNabb, Draft 2 edited by Maili. Maili Productions, Inc. Cookbook. All rights reserved
Maili Halme Brocke January 19, 2005


amazing! i still have not mastered the balsamic reduction yet. i need more practice - it got caramelized on me last time (the first time) i tried

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