Rosemary Rack of Lamb with Crushed Potatoes

This one came from New York Times Cooking: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1019078-rosemary-rack-of-lamb-with-crushed-potatoes

Yeah, this one was awesome and I would 100% do it again. It will go on The List. This was only the second time I’ve ever cooked lamb, and it was the first time I’ve ever done rack of lamb, so I was fully braced for potential disaster. However, it was truly perfect (thank you, trusty meat thermometer).

The recipe is easy, but I did make some modifications that I’ll flag later. First, start with your rub: 3 cloves garlic, 4 anchovy fillets, a pinch of Morton’s salt, and 2 tbsp dijon mustard. Combine these by either dicing the garlic and anchovies, or pound them in a mortar and pestle. I went the mortar and pestle route, and it made a nice, slightly chunky paste. I FORGOT TO ADD THE OLIVE OIL AT THIS POINT–WHOOPS! More on that later, but you should probably go ahead and add 3 tbsp of olive oil now so you don’t forget like I did.

Next take enough small potatoes to cover the bottom of whatever dish you’ll roast the lamb in. Boil them in salted water until tender, but skins still intact (about 10-15 mins), remove from water and set aside to cool. Very important to remove them from the water, or they’ll keep cooking and you’ll have mush on your hands.

Here’s where I deviated from the recipe (on purpose, rather than accidentally in the case of the missing olive oil): I salted the lamb, brought it to room temperature, and browned it in a cast iron skillet, starting with fat side down. I’m not certain that’s its necessary to brown meat that you’re roasting, but it seemed like a good idea to me, and I got a nice pretty caramelization on the lamb from it. I think it improves flavor generally, so why not?

While you’re waiting for the lamb to brown, put the potatoes in one layer in the roasting pan and crush them with the back of a spoon to open them up a bit. Drizzle them in olive oil and a little bit of kosher salt, and toss to coat.

After browning the lamb, I rubbed it in the dijon/garlic/anchovy paste. That’s when I realized I had forgotten to add 3 tbsp of olive oil to the paste. After I applied the admittedly-thick rub sans olive oil to the lamb, I realized my mistake, and just drizzled olive oil on top and rubbed it in the best I could. It turned out fine. Next, I laid the ribs over the potatoes with ribs pointing down, and let the meat sit for a few minutes to absorb the rub. Then I sprinkled chopped rosemary over the lamb and potatoes and put it in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes (my oven cooks hot, just FYI, so yours might take longer). The meat thermometer read 130 at that point, so I removed the lamb to a separate plate and let the potatoes continue cooking another 12 minutes or so, until they were a little crispy.

I plated the potatoes and lamb onto a separate platter and kept that in a warm oven for about 10 mins while we got the rest of dinner going. I was worried it would dry out the meat, but it was fine.

We served this with roasted asparagus (just olive oil and salt), boiled navy beans, and a basic salad with a fresh vinaigrette.

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