Garlic and herb crusted rack of lamb served with a red wine reduction is an elegant choice for your next special occasion meal, and it's surprisingly easy to make.
Why this recipe works
A rack of lamb is much more manageable than most beef roasts so it's perfect for a Valentine's Day dinner or small Christmas dinner. It cooks in about 30 minutes, so it's much faster too. It's got a rich flavor from the marbling and the meat is moist and tender. This recipe uses a flavorful garlic and herb rub to produce a delicious crust on the outside that flavors every bite of these succulent lamb chops.
What is a rack of lamb?
A rack is eight bones and an American rack typically weighs around 2 pounds. American lamb are typically larger and meatier than imported lamb with a milder, less gamey taste. For an American rack of lamb plan on 2 to 3 bones per person. So they're perfect for about 2 to 4 people depending on what you're serving with it.
If you're serving a larger crowd you can easily make more without much extra work. You can fit 2 lamb racks on a half baking sheet so you can make multiple at one time depending on the size of your oven.
Ingredients for Garlic and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb
- Lamb - I'd recommend having your butcher "French" the lamb if it's not already. That is where they cut and scrape away the meat and fat from the end of the bones, exposing a few inches of the bone. It makes for a nicer presentation. You can do it yourself, but it does take a bit of time and a good sharp knife.
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic and mince it finely. For recipes where the garlic is mixed into a sauce, used in more of a supporting role, store bought pre-minced garlic will do, but for a roast like this I'd recommend mincing your own.
- Herbs - I've used a mixture of fresh thyme and rosemary here.
- Salt and Pepper
Ingredients for the red wine reduction
- Red wine - Doesn't need to be expensive wine, but something you'd drink. I used a pinot noir.
- Beef stock - Use reduced sodium if possible to control the salt level.
- Fresh thyme - You'll toss in a few sprigs of thyme to help flavor the sauce while it cooks.
- Salt and Pepper
How to make roasted rack of lamb
- To prepare the garlic and herb crusted rack of lamb, rub it with around 1 tablespoon of olive oil then salt the meat and set it out for around 30 minutes to an hour to bring it to room temperature. This will help it cook more evenly.
- While it sits, prepare the garlic and herb rub by mincing your garlic and herbs and mixing them together in a small bowl. Alternatively you can add the garlic and herbs to a food processor. Then pulse until the garlic and herbs are finely minced.
- After the lamb has come up to room temp, grind some fresh black pepper on all sides, then rub the garlic and herb mixture all over. I typically go heavy with the rub on the fatty top side of the meat and a little lighter on the sides and bottom.
- Set the prepared lamb on rack in a sheet pan or a roasting pan with the fat side up. Place in a 450°F oven and roast for around 25 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F for medium rare.
- Tent the roast with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
How to make a red wine reduction sauce
- While the lamb is cooking, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and ¼ cup minced shallot to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for around 2 minutes until translucent.
- Add ½ cup each of red wine and beef stock along with 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Bring to a simmer and adjust heat as needed to maintain a low simmer.
- Cook until reduced by half. Then strain in a fine mesh strainer before serving. If you want a thicker consistency you can add a little cornstarch slurry in the last 5 minutes on cooking
What to serve with garlic and herb crusted rack of lamb
More delicious roasted meats
Garlic and Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Red Wine Reduction
- 1 Rack of lamb, around 2 lbs, preferably Frenched
- 1 tbsp +2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground pepper
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary , minced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
Red Wine Reduction
- ½ cup red wine
- ½ cup beef stock
- 2 to 3 sprigs thyme
- ¼ cup shallot, minced
- Remove lamb from refrigerator and coat with 1 tbsp of olive oil then sprinkle salt evenly on all sides and let rest for 30 minutes up to an hour to come to room temperature.
- While the lamb rests preheat oven to 450°F and mince garlic and herbs. Stir to combine in a small bowl.
- Rub lamb with garlic and herb mixture on all sides to coat. Set the lamb, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan or on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven.
- Cook for around 25 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 135°F
- While the lamb cooks add and 2 tsp olive oil and shallot to a small pot over medium heat and cook until translucent. Then add red wine, beef stock, thyme and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
- When lamb is finished remove from oven and tent with foil then let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with red wine sauce.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.