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Two-Step Rack of Lamb

Makes 6 servings

Notes: Marinating the racks before and after browning infuses them with extra flavor; it also minimizes last-minute cooking - the racks can stand for up to 4 hours, ready to be finished quickly in a hot oven.

Two-Step Rack of Lamb

James Carrier
 3 fat-trimmed racks of lamb (each 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 lb., with 8 trimmed rib bones; backbone removed)
 1 cup dry red wine
 1/2 to 1 cup port
 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
 1/4 cup minced shallots or onion
 1 teaspoon dried thyme
 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
Step 1

Trim and discard any fat on lamb racks down to about 1/8 inch thick; rinse lamb.

Step 2

In a deep bowl, mix wine, 1/2 cup port, vinegar, shallots, thyme, and pepper. Add lamb and turn to coat well. Cover bowl airtight and chill for 1 to 4 hours, turning racks occasionally.

Step 3

Lift racks from marinade, draining well; reserve liquid.

Step 4

Place a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, lay lamb racks, one or two at a time (don't crowd), meat side down, in pan. Brown entire meat side, tipping racks back and forth as necessary, 4 to 5 minutes total per rack. Frequently drain and discard any fat in pan to reduce spattering. As browned, return racks to marinade and coat well. Cover airtight and chill another 1 to 4 hours, turning racks occasionally.

Step 5

Lift racks from bowl and lay, bones down (bones can overlap), in a shallow 12- by 17-inch pan. Pour marinade over lamb.

Step 6

Bake in a 450° regular or convection oven until a thermometer inserted into meat in the center of a rack, parallel to rib bones, registers 125° for rare, 15 to 18 minutes, or 135° for medium-rare, 25 to 27 minutes (meat should still give easily when pressed). If marinade evaporates, add about 1/4 cup water to pan and tilt to mix, to prevent scorching. Transfer racks to a platter and let stand at least 5 minutes.

Step 7

If desired, add 1/2 cup port and 1/4 cup water to pan; stir over high heat, scraping browned bits free, until mixture is boiling vigorously. Drain any accumulated juices from lamb into pan, then pour pan juices into a small bowl.

Step 8

Cut racks apart into double lamb chops. Serve with pan juices. Add salt to taste.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 0

Amount Per Serving
Calories 241Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g19%

Saturated Fat 4.3g22%
Cholesterol 86mg29%
Sodium 100mg5%
Total Carbohydrate 5g2%

Dietary Fiber 0.1g1%
Protein 26g52%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.