Spice-Crusted Rack of Lamb
Rack of lamb is a special-occasion treat. Usually, you need to order it in advance. Ask the butcher to "french" the bones -- removing excess meat and fat, which makes the chops neat to eat.
- 1 rack of lamb (8 ribs, about 1 1/4 pounds), frenched
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Herb Oil, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the rack into two 4-rib pieces, and season the meat generously with salt and pepper.
Toast the mustard and fennel seeds in a large seasoned cast-iron (or ovenproof) skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly.
Heat oil in skillet until hot but not smoking. Place 1 piece of lamb in skillet, bone side down, and brown all over, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining piece of lamb. Roll meat in spices to coat (do not coat the cut sides on either end).
Return meat to skillet, and transfer to oven. Roast meat until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center (avoiding the bones) registers 135 degrees, or medium-rare, 18 to 24 minutes.
Remove meat from skillet, and let stand at least 10 minutes. Cut meat into individual or double chops, and cross the bones, if desired. Serve with herb oil.