Succulently tender and full of flavour, this crusted rack of lamb is roasted with herb and macadamia nut crumb and a side of cherry tomatoes to complement the meat. This festive recipe is perfect for Easter, Sunday Roast, Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s gluten-free, paleo, Whole30 and keto-friendly.
The season of decadence is almost upon us so I thought I’d share one of my old-time celebratory favourites. Herb and nut crusted rack of lamb is as special as they come but for many people, it seems like a complicated dish. But, it’s not.
Once you’ve made peace with forking out a horrifying amount of cash on a couple of French-trimmed racks of lamb, the rest is pretty simple and affordable. I always think that a jolly season is a good enough occasion to spoil yourself and your family, so let me show you how to make these bad boys.
If you want to do a cheaper version of this crusted lamb rack recipe, you can use the same crust paste to rub a few chicken breasts, pork loin or cutlets, or a whole fillet of fish, and roast them in the oven. You would need to modify the cooking time of course.
LAMB RACK CRUST
I used macadamia, parsley and garlic for the crust but you can use any other nut or a combination of nuts. Seeds could also be used instead. Mint and rosemary are other herbs that go really well with lamb so you could use those instead of parsley.
For me, the crust to a lamb is like the stuffing is to a chicken. It’s almost like a condiment so you don’t really need any sauce. Perhaps some hot mustard on the side.
SIDES FOR ROASTED RACK OF LAMB
Lamb is a little heavy and very hearty, so I like to serve lighter sides and something that is a little acidic to cut through the richness of the meat. Roasted cherry tomatoes with a splash of Balsamic not only pair well with this dish but they also look beautiful and festive on the platter.
A side of roasted carrots or sweet potatoes or some greens will work well with the lamb as well. I quite like steamed or stir-fried green beans or sauteed asparagus, or some peas. You can always do regular spuds or some cauliflower parsnip mash.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
For my other celebratory and weekend roasts check out my whole roasted chicken with paleo-friendly inside out stuffing, or my roasted ribs glazed with apple barbecue sauce.
For the rack of lamb:
- 2 racks of lamb French-trimmed, 3-4 lamb cutlets per person
- 1 cup macadamia nuts other nuts can also be used
- 1 large clove of garlic peeled
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 teaspoon sea salt
- A little extra salt and black pepper
- Some ghee coconut oil or olive oil for cooking
- A large roasting tray
- 2 vines of cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- To make the roasted tomatoes, preheat the oven to 180 C/355F. Place the cherry tomatoes on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven, on the middle shelf, for 25 minutes. Take out of the oven, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and place back in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove the tray and sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt. Set aside.
- To make the lamb.This can be done earlier in the day or while you’re roasting the tomatoes. Wash and pat dry the racks of lamb, sprinkle with a salt and pepper and set aside to bring to room temperature, maybe 10-15 minutes.
- Place macadamia nuts, chopped parsley and garlic clove in a food processor. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Process into a thick, sticky paste.
- Heat a teaspoon of ghee or coconut oil in a frying pan until hot. Place the lamb racks, standing up, and fry for one minute (see picture). Turn the racks flat and fry for an additional minute on each side so all three sides are sealed.
- Remove to a plate and once cooled down enough so you can touch it, cover the meatier sides with about 0.5-cm thick layer of the macadamia paste, pressing down with your fingers. Place in the fridge to set for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 390 F. Place the lamb racks in a slightly greased oven tray, crust side up, and bake for 12 minutes at 200 C / 390 F. Turn the oven down to 170 C / 335 F and roast for a further 8-10 minutes. Rest out of the oven for 5 minutes before serving. The crust is a little fragile so be careful when transferring the lamb to a serving platter. I cut the racks in halves so you can serve them easily on four plates. Arrange the roasted tomatoes around the lamb.