Many years ago, I worked in a French Restaurant in college. Every Valentine’s Day the place was packed with a ton of couples out for a romantic dinner. We served everything from filet mignon to veal, but my favorite item on the menu was always a delectable Rack of Lamb. To this day whenever I go to a fancy restaurant for dinner, I try to order the rack of lamb. It is not that plentiful here in Texas compared to the ever-popular steak or filet mignon, so many times I have to make it myself.
This Valentine’s Day I do not intend on fighting the restaurant crowds. I have decided to head to our local Tom Thumb, where I can get some of the highest quality ingredients at a great value to make a spectacular Valentine’s Day dinner at home. Cue the babysitter (thank goodness mine lives across the street), so that Dallas Single Dad and I can have romantic dinner date – something we haven’t done in a very long time.
The rack of lamb available from Open Nature® is exclusively available at your local Albertsons and Tom Thumb stores. Our local Albertsons and Tom Thumb are my go-to destinations for affordable, grass-fed, free range beef and lamb that doesn’t contain antibiotics or added hormones. This is where I purchased the lamb for one of my favorite roasted rack of lamb recipes.
It’s a guilt-free meal for me, and I can rest assured knowing that Albertsons and Tom Thumb stores carry a wide variety of high-quality delicious grass-fed, free range, and natural or USDA-certified organic beef and grass-fed, free range, natural lamb from O Organics® and Open Nature®.
What I love about this recipe I’m preparing on Valentine’s Day is that in place of the breadcrumb crust I use panko in the herb crust.
Crusted Rack of Lamb with Dried Cherry Sauce
2 Open Nature® Rack of Lamb, trimmed
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse-ground mustard
1 cup unseasoned panko
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Cherry Reduction Sauce
2 cups of red wine
1 cup of Fabbri Amarena cherries in syrup
2 cloves of garlic
1 shallot (chopped)
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and Pepper
Roasting a rack of lamb is actually a very easy process. There is much more effort on creating the sauce than preparing the lamb.
On a roasting rack in shallow baking pan, place lamb meat-side up. Spread dried mustard over the meat. In small bowl, combine panko, parsley, rosemary and pepper. Pat crumb mixture over mustard. Roast at 375ºF for 30 to 35 minutes per pound or until desired degree of doneness: 145ºF for medium-rare, 160ºF for medium or 170ºF for well done. Let the roast stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Internal temperature will rise approximately 10º. Serve with Cherry Sauce.
Instant Pot/pressure cooker directions: here’s where we can cut the cooking time for a very flavorful and juicy rack of lamb. If you plan on trimming the rack of lamb, you may do so in order to fit it into the instant pot. Season the lamb as mentioned above. Heat oil in the cooker and sauté with garlic until brown on all sides. Then add 1.5 cups of chicken stock to the pot. Close and lock the lid. Bring to pressure over high heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Release pressure and serve with the cherry sauce. You can then roast on low in the oven for 5 minutes to give the lamb a nice look.
To prepare the sauce; combine the wine, cherries, garlic and shallot in a saucepan over high heat, and reduce until the mixture is almost dry, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, decrease heat to medium, and reduce until the sauce is thick for 10 to 15 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted, then season with salt and pepper.