Not just any meat rack.

29 May

My son Todd gave me Mastering Spice (2019), a cookbook by Chef Lior Lev Sercarz, several years ago. Sercarz is the owner of La Boîte, a biscuits and spice shop in New York City. Until now I merely admired the beautiful pictures. I’ll admit I was initially intimidated by most of the recipes – until I took another look and realized there were several that were not only immensely appealing, they didn’t seem all that complicated to prepare.

I set out to expand my culinary chops when I first launched this blog – and I am grateful that is exactly what’s happened! Case in point – today’s recipe for rack of lamb. This fennel and coriander-crusted rack of lamb with caramelized onions is a showstopper and the prep was relatively easy. And, while rack of lamb can be pricey, I bought two racks at Sam’s Club for $25!

Yes, it was as delicious as it looks. Cautionary note about this recipe. The spice mix is pungent – not necessarily meant to be eaten; instead it seeps flavor into the lamb making it fork tender and oh, so flavorful!

Roasted Rack of Lamb

Main Spice Blend:

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns, preferably Telicherry

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Coarsely grind together the cumin, coriander, peppercorns and fennel. Or, mix 1¾ teaspoons pre-ground cumin, 2½ teaspoons pre-ground coriander, ¾ teaspoon pre-ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon pre-ground fennel.*

*A combination of whole and pre-ground spices works as well.


1 frenched rack of lamb (about 1¾ pounds)

Kosher salt

6 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt

For the lamb: Let the lamb sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before starting your prep work so that it can be at room temperature for 30 minutes total before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the spice blend in a small bowl and stir in 1½ teaspoons salt and the mustard. Spread the spice paste evenly all over the rack of lamb.

Lightly coat the bottom of a small roasting pan with oil (2 to 3 tablespoons). Spread the onions evenly over the pan and sprinkle with salt. Set the lamb over the onions, fat side up.

Roast until a crust forms on the lamb and a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 115 to 120 degrees for medium-rare, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the lamb rest in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a cutting board and slicing it into individual chops. Serve immediately with onions.

The lamb can be coated with the spice mixture and refrigerated for up to 12 hours before roasting.

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