A few months back, during a farmer’s market, I had bought a rack of suckling lamb from a producer in central France. It is called “Agneau alaiton”. The meat was sealed and I put it away in the freezer. With eight ribs, I was waiting for a dinner party to present it.
So when I had a table of six around my birthday, I served the rack with some salad and some pasta with a basil/tomato sauce.
The recipe is simplicity itself, its success depends on the quality of the meat and on some patience. In this particular case, the meat waited a while at 20 °C in an oven before serving because one of the guests needed to prepare the dessert first after arriving a bit later than planned.
Flexibility in the kitchen is a key to successful dinners.
- One rack of lamb
- 12 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Wash and pat dry the meat (when you take meat out of the plastic wrapping there will be a bloody liquid which you better get rid off, any bacteria living especially there).
- Peel and crush the garlic.
- Preheat an oven to 175 °C.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet and brown the meat, bone side last. This takes some 10 minutes.
- Transfer the meat to an oven dish, bone side down.
- Add pepper and some salt to the meat, pour some olive oil over the meat, add the crushed garlic and put in the oven for another 15 to 25 minutes depending on whether you want the meat still a bit pink (rosé), medium (à point) or well-done (bien cuit).
- Let the meat rest for another 15 minutes in the oven, door ajar.
- You can keep the meat waiting for the serving in an oven at 20 °C, but you need to have opened the oven door first so that the temperature inside falls to the ambient temperature. (If you only switch the oven off but leave the meat inside, it will continue to cook).