Techniques for Cooking Lamb

When cooking lamb, think in terms of less is more. Less seasoning, that is. A little salt and pepper often is all a roast of lamb requires. If you're particularly fond of spices, use a simple olive oil and rosemary rub, but don't overdo it. Lamb is high in fat, and the natural juicy flavor shouldn't be covered up with an unnaturally high amount of spice.

Rack of Lamb
The rack of lamb, also called rib roast, is the entire rib cage, which is about eight ribs. When cooking this delicacy, most rack of lamb recipes direct the cook to scrape the meat away from the bone at the each rib. This is known as Frenching. Before popping a rack of lamb into the oven or seasoning it, make sure all silverskin, or the white connective tissues, has been removed.

To bake rack of lamb, place the ribs upright in the roaster, and tie the "Frenched" ends of the bones together. Carving rack of lamb is easy. Simply cut between each rib, and then separate the chops. But, since presentation is everything, etiquette suggests the rack of lamb be removed from the oven, allowed a five-minute rest on the stove top, and then carried to the table where the head of the household does the honors of carving the roast. Rack of lamb will serve four guests.

Cooking Lamb
Dry heat is the preferred method of cooking lamb. With dry heat, use high heat to seal in the juices, and then follow with a lower temperature for tenderness. Dry heat also means the meat is suspended over the heat, as in on a grill or spit. Ideally, lamb should be about four to five inches away from the heat source at all times. Never pierce the meat with a fork to turn it, as that will allow the juices to escape. Instead, gently pick up the meat with tongs.

When testing for doneness, use the palm of your hand as a guide. If the meat feels like the center of your palm when pressed, it has reached the medium well stage, but if the meat feels more like the fatty part of your palm, then the meat is at the medium rare stage. The more resistance you feel in the meat, the more cooked it is.

Since lamb is naturally tender, it is hard to ruin. However, take care when choosing the meat, as lamb that is not well marbled will be drier.

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