We absolutely love lamb in our family. Any occasions, any nights of the week is a good night to prepare it.
Tonight’ s pepper crusted rack of lamb with horseradish crème fraiche is a wonderful combination of peppercorns, lemon zest, garlic, fresh herbs and panko. A tasty outer crust over a perfectly juicy lamb. The horseradish crème fraiche is fantastic. Even though I thought I made too much and was inclined to cut the horseradish sauce in half, trust me you do not want to. Delicious as a left over sauce with cold chicken for lunch. It stores well in the refrigerator up to a week.
I prepared oven roasted potatoes with this. A staple on your family now. You can par-cook the potatoes ahead of time and save them in the refrigerator. Once ready to use, smash them with the back of your hand. Salt, lots of it, fresh rosemary (dried will do too) olive oil and you are ready to go in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes at 400°.
And of course it would not be a dinner at my house if the ever so crisp green salad would not be present.
Here are a few of my tips:
Crush the panko a bit with the pestle to cut down on the large chunks of it. It will give it a more refine flavor to it as well.
I used 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns and 1 tablespoon whole mixed peppercorns. I love the combination better as the mixed peppercorn will have some sweet peppercorns and it will enhance the flavor. However you can use either 2 tablespoons whole black or 2 tablespoons whole mixed or 1 tablespoon of each. Use what you have in hand.
PEPPER CRUSTED RACKS OF LAMB WITH HORSERADISH CREME FRAICHE
1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons whole mixed (or black or half black half mixed) peppercorns
1/2 cup panko ( Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 (3-pound each) Frenched racks of lamb
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Preheat oven at 425°.
Stir together the prepared horseradish and the crème fraiche with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to use.
Crush the peppercorns using a mortar and pestle. Transfer the crushed peppercorns to a bowl. Add the panko, minced garlic, unsalted butter, chopped rosemary, chopped thyme and lemon zest and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.
Place the racks of lamb, fat side up, on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Salt and pepper the racks of lamb and spread the mustard on both racks. Spread the panko mixture over the mustard to coat well and pressing down to adhere.
Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Cover with foil for another 10-15 minutes longer, thus preventing excessive browning.
Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Cut the racks into double of single chops.
Serve with horseradish crème fraiche sauce.