Visually stunning and deceptively easy-to-make, this spring-inspired rack of lamb recipe from Chef Silvia Barban is the perfect centerpiece to spice up your table this spring. Complete with your choice of seasonal vegetables, the dish combines tender, grass-fed Oregon lamb with Middle Eastern flavors (and a hint of Chef Silvia’s signature Italian flare).
Whether you enjoy it with friends or save the recipe date night, we promise: you won’t be disappointed. Warning: the ingredients below may induce drooling.
Ingredients (serves 2):
Cast iron skillet or pan
For the lamb and sauce
1 whole rack of lamb from Market House
1 cup dry white wine
1 bunch of mint
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 sprig of Thyme
1 sprig of mint
Spring vegetable (pick a favorite that’s in season)
10 pods of fresh fava beans (can be substituted for 1 cup of frozen clean fava beans)
8 baby artichokes
1 lemon Harissa sauce
1 tbsp harissa
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped mint
- First, use a sharp knife to carefully clean the rack of lamb. Watch your fingers while making sure to trim off the white fat and the tissue that covers the bones. Another way to clean the bones is by taking a string (can be any kind of kitchen twine) and creating a knot around the bone, then pulling it downward so that all the excess skin will be removed.
- Once you’ve prepped the meat, cut the rack of lamb down the middle (bone-wise) and place it in a container to marinate with mint, garlic, lemon peel, olive oil, thyme and wine in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Remove the rack of lamb from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking and allow it to reach room temperature.
- Preheat the oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit and heat a cast iron skillet or pan inside (this will give your lamb a very nice crust!). When the pan or skillet is medium hot, season the lamb with sea salt and fresh crushed black pepper, then put it in the pan together with butter and all the elements from the marinating process beside the wine. Sear the lamb on medium-high heat for 3 minutes on each side until it has a nice golden crust, and place it in the oven for another 5 minutes. When the temperature reaches 125 degrees, remove the pan or skillet from the heat and let the meat rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, clean the artichoke and fava beans (or other seasonal vegetable), blanch them and season with extra virgin olive oil, kosher sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- For the sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, seasoning with salt if necessary.
Heat oil in a deep 12- to 14-inch skillet over medium-high heat until simmering. Add lamb, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until fat has rendered and meat is browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lamb to a bowl, and set aside. Spoon off and discard all but 1 tablespoon rendered drippings from skillet.
Now, time to enjoy!
About Chef Silvia Barban:
SILVIA BARBAN was born and raised in Northern Italy where she learned to combine its cuisine rich in butter, cheese and olive oil with the fresh tastes of her mother's southern Calabrian heritage. From "E.Maggia" Stresa culinary school, Barban began to find her way in the kitchen of the Maestro of Italian cuisine, Gualtiero Marchesi. She worked as a pastry chef, learning to cook modern and traditional dessert for Giancarlo Perbellini, and later moving into the kitchen as chef de partie. In 2012, she made the move to New York for the opening of Giovanni Rana Pastificio e Cucina. She was originally meant to be a part of a three month consulting team, but stayed on as sous chef, relishing the opportunity to work in Manhattan. After two years, Barban received an offer to become executive chef at Aita in Brooklyn, and has directed the restaurant using fresh local produce to create traditional and modern Italian dishes from her native Italian heart. Now is the Executive Chef and co-owner of LaRina Pastificio & Vino a pasta focus restaurant in the heart of Fort Greene. In 2016, she competed in Season 14 of Bravo's TOP CHEF. Read more here.