Roast Lamb Racks with Lemon and Garlic

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A quick and easy marinade for Roast Lamb Racks with Lemon and Garlic which takes just a few minutes, perfect for busy weeknights and entertaining. The lamb is first cooked on the stove and finished off in the oven for perfectly cooked and tender meat.

roast lamb racks on baking tray

Roast Rack of Lamb

As an Australian, lamb features a lot on our menu at home and I particularly love cooking with lamb racks. You don’t have to do too much to them, but they will always look impressive!

I have a habit of always marinating meat, something which I am sure I picked up from my mother. The advantages of marinating is that you can add flavour to the meat while also tenderising it at the same time.

roast lamb racks with mortar and pestle

Rack of Lamb Recipe

My basic marinade for lamb racks (and also cutlets, fillets, or even a leg), is comprised simply of olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. Always. This means that, when I don’t have the time or energy to think about complicated flavours, I just make my basic marinade and I know that dinner will still be delicious.

But depending on my mood or what I might be serving with the lamb, I might add some other spices to my basic marinade. Sometimes it is dried mint or dried chilli flakes, and at other times I might go down the middle eastern route and add cumin and ground coriander. If I want to go all out, I tend to make a herb-crusted rack of lamb.

For instant flavour, I recently discovered a delicious blend using smoked sea salt and a medly of Middle Eastern inspired dried spices which make for a great shortcut when I don’t have the time to grind a dozen different spices together. I simply grind a few tablespoons with a mortar and pestle and use it in place of sea salt in my usual marinade.

roast lamb racks with mortar and pestle with salt

How to Cook a Rack of Lamb

You might not believe it, but I frequently make a roast lamb racks like those pictured in these photos on a casual weeknight.

1. Marinate the meat first – The marinade takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and I try to marinate the lamb racks for at least 30 minutes, but overnight is always better.

2. Cook the lamb first on the stove for colour – To get that lovely and golden crust on the lamb, I always sear the lamb first in a hot pan. Once the lamb racks have a good colour on them, I will then transfer the lamb racks to a hot oven to continue cooking. For this reason, it is a good idea to use a saucepan which can go into the oven later.

3. Finish cooking the lamb in the oven – The lamb racks will need to roast for about 15-20 minutes in the oven, depending on how well cooked you like your lamb. For more information on timing and temperatures, please see my recipe below.

4. Use a thermometer to check for doneness – The best and most accurate way to test if the lamb is cooked to your liking, is to use a digital thermometer. The digital thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat when you take a reading.

5. Let the meat rest before carving – Note that the meat will continue to cook as it rests, something you should always do after cooking meat so that the juices can flow from the surface of the meat back to the centre, thereby keeping your meat nice and tender.

What to Serve with Lamb

Paired with a simple couscous salad and maybe a homemade hummus, roast lamb racks makes for the perfect, but special, weeknight dinner.

But my main question to everyone is: who else – like me – also loves mint sauce with their lamb??!

P.S. For the Aussie readers, I am sure you will enjoy the following trip down memory lane …

roast lamb racks with sprinkled herbs

Roast Lamb Racks with Lemon and Garlic

roast rack lamb lemon garlic

5 from 5 reviews

A quick and easy marinade for Roast Lamb Racks with Lemon and Garlic which takes just a few minutes, perfect for busy weeknights and entertaining. The lamb is first cooked on the stove and finished off in the oven for perfectly cooked and tender meat.

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 small lamb racks (approx 350g or 12 oz each)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (extra)

Instructions

  1. In a small bow, mix together the oil, salt, pepper, lemon and garlic.
  2. Place the racks of lamb into a large ziplock freezer bag.
  3. Pour the marinade into the bag, seal the bag, and make sure that the racks of lamb are well coated in the marinade.
  4. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but overnight in the fridge is best. If your kitchen is quite cool, I would simply leave the bag on the kitchen counter to marinate. Otherwise, place it in the fridge.
  5. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C).
  6. Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking.
  7. Heat the extra oil in a large oven-proof saucepan which will fit both racks of lamb comfortably.
  8. On a medium-high heat, sear the racks of lamb on each side until they are nicely browned.
  9. Once both sides of the racks of lamb have been seared, quickly position them on the saucepan so that the bones are standing upwards.
  10. Place the saucepan into the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, depending on how well-cooked you like your meat. I test for doneness by prodding the meat gently, but a more accurate way of testing is to use a meat thermometer. Please see Notes below for temperatures.
  11. Allow the lamb to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

Kitchen Notes

If you are testing with a digital meat thermometer, the reading should be as follows:
Rare 115°F (46°C)
Medium-Rare 120°F (48°C)
Medium 130°F (54°C)
Medium-Well 140°F (60°C)
Well-done 150°F (65°C)

VARIATIONS
To add additional spices to this basic marinade, some suggestions are as follows:
* 1 teaspoon dried mint
* 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
* for a Moroccan-inspired marinade: 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, ground coriander, and ground cardamom

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Serves 3 to 4
  • Calories: 340
  • Sugar: 0.4g
  • Sodium: 687mg
  • Fat: 21.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.2g
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Protein: 39.6g
  • Cholesterol: 112mg

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18 comments on “Roast Lamb Racks with Lemon and Garlic

  1. Belinda 14 November 2017

    Oh, I remember that ad! So cute. Love your marinating tip for the lamb. I also like to shortcut by sprinkling some Moroccan spice mix onto lamb fillet.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 15 November 2017

      This ad still makes me laugh 😉 Great idea to sprinkle Moroccan spice mix on the lamb – they seem to work so well together.

      Reply
  2. Noel Lizotte 15 November 2017

    What an elegant looking meal! I’ve never had lamb, but definitely agree with the marinating theory here. There’s nothing like a good marinade to add flavor and tenderness … I’m usually putting mine in the fridge overnight for great meats!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 15 November 2017

      Thanks, Noel! Yes, I tend to marinate most things overnight too – it somehow makes dinner the following night seem much less stressful!

      Reply
  3. Sandi 15 November 2017

    I have always been intimidated by a rack of lamb. I love your easy step by step directions.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 15 November 2017

      Oh no, lamb racks are so easy to cook! Hope you will try it one day!

      Reply
  4. Amanda 15 November 2017

    This looks delicious and do-able … I will have to try it!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 15 November 2017

      Lamb racks are definitely do-able! They are so easy to cook with 🙂

      Reply
  5. Amanda 15 November 2017

    PS I give this recipe 5 stars.

    Reply
  6. Tina 15 November 2017

    That is my favorite marinade also! I haven’t tried it with lamb but I will now:)

    Reply
  7. Traci @ The Kitchen Girl 15 November 2017

    I’ve never attempted rack of lamb, but your pictures and recipe make me want to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 15 November 2017

      Lamb racks are really easy to cook with. Hope you will try it soon!

      Reply
  8. Joyce 22 November 2017

    I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE lamb! 😀 I don’t know why I never think to make it, but you make this look so simple that I think I am going to start enjoying this again! yay! 🙂 Oh, and there’s something about being here it just makes me feel so cozy ^_^

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 23 November 2017

      Aww thanks, Joyce! 🙂 I didn’t eat a lot of lamb growing up, but it was something I slowly started to embrace once I moved out of home. Now we eat it every week! Thanks for popping by xx

      Reply
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  10. Julia 16 April 2018

    So YUMMY!!! Sounds totally delicious!!! I can’t WAIT to try this! Thank you for this great recipe!

    Reply

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