Lots of nights, I crave roast chicken because it's simple and intensely comforting. However, I live alone, and unless I have someone over, cooking an entire chicken seems a bit wasteful. That's why I've taken to roasting rack of lamb instead. It's available in smaller quantities, and when I'm by myself, it feels like a special treat. In this recipe, the lamb is rubbed with a fresh-herb garlic paste before being roasted with tomatoes and potatoes in the oven. The resulting meal is delicious, rewarding, and, with a glass of red wine, wonderfully luxurious. To look at the recipe,
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium tomatoes, halved
1 (1-pound) frenched rack of lamb (4 to 8 chops, depending on size), cut in half
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (1/3 cup)
2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
- Mince and mash garlic to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir together with herbs and 1 tablespoon oil.
- Put tomatoes cut sides up in an oiled small baking dish and drizzle with a third of garlic mixture. Roast until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat lamb dry and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown lamb on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer lamb to a cutting board and discard oil from skillet.
- Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium heat and cook shallots and potatoes, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in water and half of remaining garlic mixture and remove from heat.
- Rub remaining garlic mixture on fat side of lamb racks. Arrange lamb over potatoes and roast in oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat (do not touch bone) registers 130°F for medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let stand, loosely covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with tomatoes.
- Main Dishes, Lamb