Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Provencal Rack of Lamb with Roasted Tomatoes

It was a long day, starting with the commute, continuing with the load of work that accumulated on my desk as much as the snow accumulated around my office, and ending with an equally long commute.  So, I decided to treat myself.  Clare had a meeting and I would be dining alone, which usually means I make a big steak (to compensate for the fish and vegetables I eat with my pescatarian/vegetarian wife).  I decided to do something different and I came across a recipe from Gourmet magazine for Provencal Rack of Lamb with Roasted Potatoes.  So, I went and bought myself a rack of lamb and the rest is history....

Provencal Rack of Lamb with Roasted Tomatoes

1 frenched rack of lamb (4 to 8 chops, of course, I always lean toward the higher end of the range)
1 spring of fresh rosemary, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, halfed
2 medium boiling potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 shallot (or, if your shallot is bad, like the one I bought, use a sweet onion)
3 tablespoons of olive oil (or more, after all, it is the "good" fat)
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced and then mashed
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Combine the rosemary and the mashed garlic with at least 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to create a paste.  Take about 1/3 of the paste and drizzle it on to the tomatoes.  Place the tomatoes into a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  

Meanwhile, brown the rack of lamb on all sides in an oven-proof skillet.  Use about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to brown the lamb.  Once the lamb is browned (after about 6 minutes, although it took a little longer for me), remove the lamb and add the potatoes and onions to the skillet.  Also add about 1/3 of the garlic mixture.  Brown the potatoes and cook the onions.  After about 4 to 6 minutes, add the lamb, placing it on top of the potatoes.  Stick the pan into the oven (remember to use an oven-proof pan) for about 20 to 30 minutes or when the lamb registers 130 degrees.  Remember that the lamb will continue to cook when you take it out of the oven, so pull it out when it registers about 125 to 127 and cover it in foil for a couple of minutes.  

Arrange the potatoes on the plate with one to two of the tomatoes.  Slice the rack and place the lamb cutlets on the potatoes.  I added a herb salad to round out the plate.  Still working on the whole "presentation" thing.  Enjoy.