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We celebrated Valentine’s Day last night at Kitchen Conservatory with a spectacular menu of shrimp, scallops, lamb, and chocolate. Play of the night: one of the students said he bought the class as a Christmas gift for his girlfriend, which was a twofer — he got credit for both Christmas and Valentine’s Day with one gift!

The most-asked question was “what is clarified butter?” Butter is about 80 percent fat. To clarify butter means removing the 20 percent of milk solids and water so the result is 100 percent fat. Since butter burns easily (at 250 degrees), clarifying butter raises the burn point. The lamb needs to browned at 350 degrees, which clarified butter can handle. Can you use olive oil instead? Sure, but it is better with butter. Clarified butter is the same as drawn butter or ghee. To make clarified butter at home, melt butter. Refrigerate until solid. Lift off the fat, discard the milky liquid at the the bottom, and wash the fat under cold water to remove any milk solids clinging to the fat.

Here is the most favorite dish from last night’s cooking class. Note that the photo features two great tools for rack of lamb: probe thermometer so that the meat is perfectly cooked and paper lamb frills for picking up the lamb chop and eating it like any other rib. Finger food always tastes better!

Tarragon-Rubbed Rack of Lamb

  • 2 racks of lamb (8 bones each)
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup clarified butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a thin fillet knife to remove the silverskin from the meat. Salt and pepper the lamb. Place clarified butter in a large roasting pan over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb on both sides. Remove to a plate. Combine breadcrumbs, tarragon, and garlic in a bowl. Brush the lamb with mustard. Coat the lamb with the herb mixture, pressing it on the meat. Put back in the roasting pan and insert the probe thermometer. Bake until the internal temperature is 125 degrees, about 15 minutes. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before cutting into chops and decorating with the paper frills. Serve with sauce.

For the red wine sauce:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups lamb stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil and sauté the onion, celery, and carrot on medium-high heat until clear, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the flour and stir to combine and cook for a minute. Add the tomato. Add the wine, bring to a boil and let cook until reduced to half of the original volume. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to half of the original volume. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

4 Comments for “Tarragon-Rubbed Rack of Lamb Recipe”  

  1. Anonymous

    The twofer is clever.

    Does the girlfriend know she is going out with a “cheap” man?

    If you are married, use it with caution

  2. Veronica


  3. Migdalia

    This is my favorite lamb recipe!!! Delicious. My husband and son also loved it. Thanks.

  4. Anne

    So glad that you enjoyed it!