Rack of Lamb with Whipped Goat Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

It’s kind of interesting that now I live in America, I notice things about England I never would have thought about before. One of those things is how much lamb English people eat. My mum served leg of lamb with mint sauce at least once a month for a nice sunday dinner- [which I think is quite a traditional English meal]. They also serve lamb shanks and rack of lamb in nice restaurants. We eat a lot of lamb in Indian food, like lamb korma, lamb vindaloo, and lamb kofta. There’s also lamb kebabs, lamb gyros… I could probably go on, but the point i’m trying to make is, I always thought lamb was a staple meat alongside pork, beef and chicken… until I came to America where they hardly ever eat it.

I have been wanting to cook it for quite some time now, but I couldn’t find it anywhere! Not only do Americans hardly ever eat it, but they hardly ever sell it. Then this week at Costco I finally found two different cuts: imported leg of lamb, and imported racks of lamb from New Zealand, and i’m wondering if they had those just because spring is around the corner. Whatever the reason, I thought I better cook it now while I had the chance. And then I realized: ‘i’m in way over my head with this one!’ I don’t know if it was entirely the rack of lamb, or the combination of two small children clinging to both of my legs like spider monkies while I attempted to make their dinner plus the lamb, plus the tomatoes, plus the goat cheese, plus the orzo while my husband had his feet up watching the Super Bowl saying: “you have to come watch this” every 20 seconds.

P.S. My family are awesome, it’s me who’s the crazy one and always tries to take on way too much. I’m just glad amidst the chaos, I was able to pull this dish off somehow.

Anyway, here is the recipe:

[for the goat cheese] 1 cup creamy fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tsp minced fresh dill
2 tsp grated lemon zest
[for the lamb] 1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
kosher salt
black pepper
1-2 racks of lamb
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the lamb, turning to coat well. Marinade at room temperature for 45 minutes, turning once or twice.

In a mixer, beat 1 cup goat cheese for 30 seconds, then gradually drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil
Add 4 tsp minced dill (1 1/2 tsp dried) and 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Mix to combine. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

Arrange oven rack to its middle position and preheat the oven to 425degF. Remove the lamb from the marinade and season with salt and pepper on each side. Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of a skillet, then place it over medium high heat. When hot, add the rack of lamb round side down, to the pan and brown on that side only for 3 minutes.
Let rack rest until cool enough to handle. About 10 minutes.Arrange the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan, and cover the ends with tin foil Roast for 20 minutes for medium rare. [Your meat thermometer should register 130degF]. 25 minutes for medium. Remove the racks to a platter. Tent with tin foil and let rest for 15 minutes.Retain the oven temperature and roast the tomatoes for about 5 minutes, until hot and starting to shrink.
Serve with the whipped goat cheese.
I served it on a bed of orzo instead of risotto or wild rice, because with all the mayhem, I needed quick and easy for my sanity…¬†

The nice thing about rack of lamb is that it’s not only tender and delicious, but it’s so elegant and presentable too.
It’s kind of funny that I forgot about the Super Bowl sunday theme, because I could probably have gotten away with shoving frozen hot wings in the oven, and putting out a bowl of nachos and salsa, but I am glad I finally got round to attempting a lamb dish- and hope that they keep selling it for a little while longer so I can experiment a little more!
Until then, I hope you all had fun watching the Super Bowl today, and that you all enjoy what’s left of your weekend.
Love, Sarah