One of my favorite dishes, and one that was a staple in my home as a child, was le carré d’agneau persillé, or persillade-crusted rack of lamb. Today, I decided to make a slightly different version that incorporated exotic spices, sweet notes in the form of dried fruits such as dried apricots and almond, parsley and mint in the coating.
To ensure that the meat was juicy and very tender, I marinated the lamb in an apricot, ginger, Baharat spices and buttermilk mixture. You’ll have to let the lamb marinate overnight. It will take some patience until you’re able to enjoy it but your efforts will be rewarded. Lastly, once the lamb was cooked, I covered it with the almond, parsley and mint coat for extra fragrance.
1. Info for Apricot Roasted Rack of Lamb
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 6
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Apricot Roasted Rack of Lamb
- 3 racks of lamb, about 5 pounds total
- ¼ cup almond meal
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 (5.5.-ounce) can apricot nectar
- 5 dried apricots, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon Baharat spice mix (see tips)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced and puréed
- 1 tablespoon horseradish mustard (optional)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 sprigs fresh mint, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 cups Italian parsley, tightly packed and chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter, diced
- Seasoning the meat: Rub half the amount of garlic purée on the racks of lamb and season with kosher salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper.
- In a bowl, combine the apricot nectar, 1 tablespoon chopped dried apricots, buttermilk, lemon juice, Baharat spice mix, ginger, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir well.
- Place each rack of lamb in a sealable zip-top bag (or the 3 racks together in a very large bowl). Divide the marinade among the 3 bags or pour all of it over over the racks in the bowl. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 10 hours or overnight.
- The following day… Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes ahead of time to bring it back to room temperature before cooking.
- For the herb coat: In a food processor, add the butter, remaining garlic and dried apricots and 1 cup parsley, 1 tablespoon fresh mint to the almond meal. Season with 2 teaspoons of horseradish mustard (if using), salt and pepper. Pulse until it forms coarse crumbs of butter, apricots and almonds. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining parsley and mint.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Remove the lamb from the marinade. Pat the meat dry using paper towels.
- In a large heavy-bottom pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it’s really hot, almost to the smoking point. Place the racks of lamb, fat side up. Sear the meat for about 2 minutes until nicely golden. Flip the meat on the other side using tongs. It’s important that you do NOT pierce the meat with a fork, so it stays moist and tender. Sear the other side for another 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the pan to the oven and roast the lamb for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the lamb from the oven and cover it with a thin layer of apricot almond mixture by pressing it against the meat using a large spoon. Drizzle with a little oil. Return immediately to the oven and roast for another 13-15 minutes (16-17 minutes if you like it well done), depending on how pink you like your meat.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the racks of lamb to a large platter. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing; that way the meat stays very juicy and tender.
- A mean thermometer should register 125-130°F for medium-rare meat. Coat the rack of lamb with the reserved mint and parsley.
- Slice the lamb into 3/4" thick pieces, fanning the slices for a nice presentation; serve immediately.
- I served the lamb chops with the warm tomato chutney, twic-baked potatoes and some greens.
- Bon appétit!