Grgich Hills Estate Winery

Rack of Lamb

September 5, 2013 • Posted in: Merlot

Rack of LambPair with Grgich Hills Estate Merlot


  • ½ small yellow onion diced
  • 1 leek, (white part only) diced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black peppercorns
  • 10 fresh juniper berries (dried is recommended; jarred is fine)
  • 1 head garlic crushed, skin removed
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • (marinate overnight)


  • 2 lbs. rack of lamb
    —have your butcher French cut the lamb for you
  • 1 Tablespoon of garlic purée – below
  • 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ cups fine fresh Italian style bread crumbs
  • ½ bunch of finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of diced fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon diced fresh rosemary
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons olive oil

 Garlic Purée

  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ of a large shallot, peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Directions: Mix the garlic, shallot, and olive oil in a mini food processor or blender about 30 seconds. Scrape down and blend until creamy.

Marinade: Rub marinade over rack of lamb and place in a thick plastic bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag and seal. Refrigerate overnight. Remove the rack of lamb from the refrigerator and remove the marinade by wiping it off with a dry towel. Allow lamb rack to reach room temperature (approximately 1 hour) before browning and roasting the lamb. (If the meat is not at room temperature, it will be difficult for it to cook evenly.)

Browning: In a small bowl, mix together the garlic purée, mustard, olive oil; reserve. In another bowl mix the bread crumbs, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until combined well; reserve. Score the lamb by making sharp diagonal shallow cuts through the fat spaced about an inch apart to form a diamond pattern; season lamb with sea salt and cracked black peppercorns. Heat a large heavy, oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of light olive oil and place the lamb fat-side down in the pan; sear lamb until golden brown.

Roasting: Place the lamb rack fat side up in the pan Wrap the exposed ribs in a little foil so they don’t burn. Spread the garlic Dijon mixture evenly over the lamb,
pat bread crumbs mixture over the fat-side of the lamb. Roast for approximately 20 minutes (400°F) until the meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads between 125°F for rare or 135°F for medium. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil to keep warm and let rest for 10 minutes. Right before serving, place the lamb under a hot broiler for a minute or two to ensure a golden brown finish to the bread crumbs. Cut lamb chops away from the rack by slicing between the bones. Serve 2-3 chops per person. Serve with pan juices, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Garnish with whole pink peppercorns and sprigs of rosemary.

Chef David Mitchel, Grgich Hills Estate Wine Educator