rack ’em up

Lamb is my favorite red meat and, to me, there’s nothing better than these delectable rib chops cut off the rack. Costco (yes, Costco!) has the tastiest rack of lamb from Australia which come already frenched–the fat is trimmed from the bone–and they’re a good price, too. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll sear them, spread them with dijon mustard, top with an herb and garlic toasted bread crumb mix, and then pop them in the oven to roast. Tonight I decided to go a little Greek: after marinating for a few hours to infuse the racks with garlic, lemon and rosemary, they were roasted, cut into individual ribs, and served with creamy, tangy, garlicky, minty tzatziki. Mmmmm…finger lickin’ good!

Greek Marinated Lamb Chops with Tzatziki

Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade: chopped garlic, fresh rosemary or oregano, olive oil, lemon zest, and lots of lemon juice. This dressing should have more acid than one you’d make for salad because you want it to start to break down and tenderize the lamb.

Rinse the lamb and pat dry with paper towels. Using a boning or sharp knife, trim excess fat from the top of the racks.

Place the lamb in a dish and pour the marinade over, making sure the fat side is down to absorb the dressing. Put in the refrigerator to set for a couple of hours, or even a half hour will do.

While the lamb is marinating, make the tzatziki. Start with 0% Greek yogurt–it’s wonderful because it’s so rich, you’ll never know it’s fat free. Add pressed garlic cloves, lemon juice, seedless cucumber that’s grated on a microplane, julienned mint leaves, a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil, and kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Refrigerate while the rest of the meal is cooking to allow the flavors to meld together.

Bring the lamb racks to room temperature for about a half hour before cooking. Place them fat side down in a hot skillet to sear over medium heat, for 5 to 10 minutes, until golden brown. Turn the racks over and place the skillet in a 400 degree oven to roast for 10 to 12 minutes. The internal temperature should read 140 on an instant read thermometer for rare to medium rare. Let the lamb stand to rest for 5 minutes.

Carve the racks into individual ribs. Serve 3 to 4 ribs person; I like to accompany this dish with lemon sage roasted fingerling potatoes and sauteed haricots vert. Pass the tzatziki and enjoy!

Serves 4:

Greek Marinade:
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary or oregano, chopped
zest of one lemon
juice of two lemons
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

2-1 1/2 pound racks of Australian lamb, rinsed and patted dry

6 ounces Greek yogurt, 0%
2 garlic cloves, pressed
Juice of one lemon
1/2 seedless cucumber, grated 
2 tablespoons mint leaves, julienned
kosher salt and freshly ground cracked pepper
drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil

2 thoughts on “rack ’em up

  1. A

    LOVE this recipe! Who would have thought Costco would have great frenched rib chops? I’m going to try this next week