Classic French-style (Herb Roasted) Rack of Lamb

Main Dishes, Recipes

This year, our family decided to save a turkey and go a nontraditional but still festive route for our Thanksgiving meal. Everyone gathered in our tiny, humble apartment and the NomCats prepared the dinner for six. A highlight of the dinner was the classic French style racks of lamb served over com do (Vietnamese tomato red rice) — the epitome of the beautiful fusion of French-Vietnamese cuisine.

NomCat tip for the ingredients:

The Lamb: We bought ours from Costco. They are sold as full racks, vacuum-sealed, trimmed, and ready to go – all for less than $20 a rack of 8 chops. If you’re looking to avoid the holiday rush, these packages freeze well and defrost just in time if you remember to move them to the refrigerator one full day in advance. (Or if you have trouble with clearing out your freezer like we do, the packages are well-marked and dated. We recently cooked a rack after months in the freezer, and it was still tender and delicious!)

Without further ado, here’s our recipe for pulling off one of these beauties:

Beautiful, isn’t it? (And yes, we like our lamb very rare.)


1 full rack of lamb (8 chops)

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic paste)

Salt & pepper to taste (we used Himalayan pink salt, which adds crunch with a more delicate saltiness)

Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons or so)

Let the lamb sit out on the counter to bring it closer to room temperature. If it is still cold, it will be very difficult to cook evenly. (Thanks for this tip, Simply Recipes!) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are making the com do to accompany the lamb, you’ll want to start the pot of rice now. In a small bowl, mix together the herbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to form a marinade-like paste. Liberally spread this paste over the rack, focusing on the meaty portions (*Note: you can do this in advance and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to marinate).

All herbed up and ready to go!

Place fat side up (so the bones will make it look like a dome) on either a foil-wrapped baking sheet or in a Pyrex baking dish. Score the fat and then put it in the oven for 7 minutes. You can take this opportunity to work on any side dishes.

After the time has elapsed, turn the heat down to 300 degrees and continue cooking. The time will depend on how large the rack is (the ones we get from Costco are consistently 1.5 pounds each) and how rare you like your lamb. We like ours rare and bloody, so the initial 7 minutes plus another 7-10 was perfect.

Hot out of the oven!

For our family dinner, we took the racks out at the rare point, carved into single chops, and pan seared the rest to temperature for those who preferred it medium-rare or well done. Be sure to let the meat rest a bit before slicing. Otherwise you’ll lose all of the wonderful juices!

Searing up some chops for the med-rare and well-done folk.

We like to serve 2-3 chops per person, crisscrossed over a mound of the com do or alongside roasted potatoes, haricot verts (green beans), grilled asparagus… whatever your stomach desires!

Adapted from this recipe.

Tried this recipe yourself? Let us know how it goes! Comment here or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you :)

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