Frenching is the process of scraping some of the meat and fat off of the ribs in order to create hand-held “chops.” This is often a preferred way of trimming the meat by some butchers — and it’s how we sell our rack of lamb here at Market House! But what different does Frenching really make, anyway?
In truth, this is primarily an aesthetic choice. Trimming the meat and fat off to expose the bone creates an elegant cut and makes for a beautiful presentation when your rack of lamb is plated whole. Plus, for practical reasons, the exposed bone can make handling the meat easier during preparations and during serving. Seeing the clearly defined bone makes cutting and plating the meat simpler, particularly since diners can then enjoy a built in handle to their chop if they choose.
However, we’ll be honest: is a frenched cut necessary? No, it’s not. In fact, some people prefer their rack of lamb un-frenched because they want the extra layer of fat and thin layer of meat that is usually removed from that bone. This allows for a multi-textured eating experience, as you can enjoy the tender meat of the ribeye and the rustic meat of the rib bone.
In short, the question of frenched vs. un-frenched merely comes down to preference. Here’s what we will suggest though: if you are someone who prefers to presentation and ease of a frenched rack of lamb, make sure you buy it already butchered that way. While you can certainly remove the rib meat yourself, the finesse of the cut is best left to a professional butcher.
If you’re new to cooking lamb, don’t be intimidated. Here are a couple of great recipes to get you started:
- Chef Silvia Barban’s Seared Rack of Lamb With Spring Vegetable, Mint and Harissa Sauce
- The Ultimate Leg of Lamb Recipe
- A classic date-night recipe
Of course, preparing a good rack of lamb starts with high quality meat. And you know we can help with that.