Herb and Nut Crusted Rack of Lamb

Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth: Season One: Richard Bertinet's Bath

  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:1 1/4 hr
Richard Bertinet, The Bertinet Kitchen, Bath, England
October 2009
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  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts or blanched almonds
  • 2 (8-rib) frenched racks of lamb (each rack 11/2 lb), trimmed of all fat
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs (from 1 to 2 slices day-old bread)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg
  • Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.
  • If using hazelnuts, toast on a small baking pan in oven until skins are loose and nuts are golden and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 10 minutes, then rub through towel to loosen skins. Open towel carefully on a work surface and roll nuts away from skins, discarding skins.
  • Meanwhile, heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until hot, at least 2 minutes. Pat lamb dry and rub meat all over with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, then rub all over with oil. Brown lamb on all sides in hot skillet, about 10 minutes total. Transfer lamb to a 13- by 9-inch roasting pan and reserve.
  • Pulse nuts in a food processor with bread crumbs and herbs until finely ground.
  • Whisk together cream, mustard, and egg, then add to food processor with nut mixture and purée until it forms a paste. Coat meaty parts of lamb thickly with herb mixture, pressing to help it adhere.
  • Roast lamb until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 120°F, about 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes (internal temperature will rise to 125 to 130°F for medium-rare).
  • Cut each rack in half to serve.
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