Grilled Rack Of Lamb with Board Sauce
Updated: Jan 2
Rack Of Lamb is one of the easiest meats to grill or roast, in my opinion. Score the lamb, rub all over with a flavourful seasoning, and grill. Ok, it’s not that easy as you need to ensure proper grilling methods, meat handling, and temperature control. Read on my friends!
Grilling season is around the corner – well kind of. It’s mid-April and were in the midst of an ice storm. I was planning on slow smoking salmon last weekend, but, mother nature told me otherwise. No problem – Lamb it is.
I’ve become somewhat addicted to learning and mastering cooking techniques including grilling, slow smoking, roasting, temperature control, food handling, and so on. One of my goals with these posts is to share these techniques with you to help ensure your end product is nothing but spectacular – perfectly cooked to your satisfaction, juicy and delicious. Trust me, your friends and family will love you!
Introducing "board sauce". Imagine serving your dinner guests a full rack on a board, with the dipping or board sauce on the same board. Carve the rack in front of them and serve "right there". You WILL be king or queen!
The rack is the rib portion of the animal. Usually there are around 8 ribs per rack. It is fatty and juicy. The fat will render during cooking, basting as it cooks, ensuring a juicy and delicious end product.
A typical rack of lamb weighs between 1.5lbs to 2lbs.
The average american eats less than 1lb of lamb per year! Compare that to 85lbs of beef per year. Eat more lamb! It's delicious!
For the best quality meat buy your rack of lamb from your local butcher, and have them “French” the rack. In other words, exposing the bones by cutting off the meat and fat. These are the bones above the main muscle/meat.
Ask your butcher where the lamb comes from. Your butcher should know where and how the lamb was raised (e.g. local pastured). Know your meat people!
Buying excellent quality locally raised meat is a win-win for everyone, including supporting your economy and local farmers.
Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let sit for roughly 30 minutes, or until room temperature in the thickest part of the meat.
While resting, trim the excess fat off the cap leaving approximately ¼”. I like to trim a little more than ¼”.
Score the fat cap, just slightly scoring the meat, in a criss-cross pattern about 1” apart. It should look like a slanted checker board.
In a medium size bowl add the olive oil, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Mix thoroughly.
On a cutting board, rub the mixture over the lamb and into the scored fat/meat. Dig in with your hands.
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Bring your grill to a high heat and clean the grills thoroughly.
When the grill is at approximately 500’f, add the lamb to the middle of the grill cap side down. Close the lid.
Very important, do NOT leave the grill area. Flare ups can happen, and you may have a crispier rack than desired. Sear for 5 minutes.
Turn the rack of lamb bone side down over indirect heat (for bbq’s turn off the middle or center burner, for charcoal bbq’s move to and area with no coals).
At this point I insert my Thermoworks' ChefAlarm to accurately monitor the internal temperature. Close the lid and grill the rack of lamb until an internal temperature of 135’f (medium rare). Depending on the size of the rack, this may take 5 to 10 minutes, or even longer for thicker cuts of meat.
I also use my Thermoworks' Thermapen Mk4 as a quick way to check temperature at other areas of the meat.
Excellent quality thermometers are essential tools in my cooking/grilling "toolbox". They are also great for monitoring temperatures while bringing meats to room temperature and while meats rest after cooking/grilling. No guessing required.
Turn off the grill and move the rack of lamb to a large cutting board, on one side. Note, the lamb will continue to cook 5 to 10’f while resting. Ensure you take the lamb off in time for your desired end internal temperature.
Loosely cover with foil and let the lamb rest for 10 minutes to help redistribute the juices.
On the other side of the cutting/serving board, mix the “board sauce”. I just love this presentation. Image serving your guests the rack and board sauce on a large board, carving the rack in front of them, and dipping the ribs directly into the board sauce. Impress your friends!
Cut the rack between the rib bones for individual ribs.
Sort the ribs for presentation and serve to your guests.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 (appetizer)
Ingredients – Rack Of Lamb Rub:
1 rack of lamb – frenched
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp coarse salt
1 tsp pepper – fresh coarse ground
1 tsp fresh thyme – finely chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary – finely chopped
Ingredients – Board Sauce:
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
Measure spoons and cups
Medium bowl for mixture
Fork for stirring mixtures
Remove lamb from refrigerator and let sit for 30 minutes or until room temperature, in the thickest part of the meat
While resting, trim excess fat off the cap leaving approximately ¼”
Score the fat cap, just slightly scoring the meat, in a criss-cross pattern about 1” apart
In a medium size bowl add olive oil, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary – mix
On a cutting board, rub mixture over lamb and into scored fat/meat
Bring your grill to high heat and clean grills thoroughly
When grill is at approximately 500’f, add lamb to the middle of the grill cap side down - close lid
Sear for 5 minutes
Turn rack of lamb bone side down over indirect heat (for bbq’s turn off middle or center burner, for charcoal bbq’s move to area with no coals)
Grill rack of lamb until an internal temperature of 135’f (medium rare)
Turn off grill and move rack of lamb to a large cutting board, on one side
Loosely cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes
On the other side of the cutting/serving board, mix board sauce
Cut the rack between the rib bones for individual ribs
Sort ribs for presentation and serve to your guests
NEVER leave your bbq or grill when cooking, especially with fatty meats
ALWAYS have a glass of water on hand for flare-ups
DON’T lift the lid while cooking – “if you’re looking, it aint cooking”
STOP flipping your meat excessively – “let er cook”
USE an excellent quality thermometer – no guessing
LEAVE the lamb on longer for medium or well done