Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rack of Lamb Persillade with Rutabaga Mash and Crispy Shallot

Succulant little lamb abed Rutabaga Puree'
In early December, Chris got a call from the Seminary to inform him that we had been selected to recieve 20 pounds of meat.  WHAT?!  "Do you know who you're talking to here?  Mr. Meat and Mrs. Blogger?!"  It couldn't have come at a better time for us.  We were beyond excited and felt so blessed by this Christmas gift.

The story goes that Morasch Meats, a local meat company in Portland gives meat boxes to Seminary Students to bless them during the holidays and chooses to give back generously, just as God has generously given His grace to us through Jesus.

We had been saving the rack of lamb for a special occasion.  The Lawrences were visiting and we wanted to celebrate their exciting news of moving to Oregon on account of Taylor's new job opportunity.

I turned to Ina again for the inspiration- never to be disappointed.

Ingredients for Lamb Persillade: 

2 small racks of lamb, frenched
good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
*serves 4-6, medium rare

Ingredients for Rutabaga Mash and Crispy Shallot:

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 shallots, diced into thin rings
3-4 large rutabagas
1 cup milk
3 tbs butter
freshly ground black pepper
* Serves 4-6

Anytime you combine two dishes for a meal, it takes timing.  Success in the kitchen is ALL about timing.

Begin with heating the oil and butter slowly.  Once the oil has reached 220 degrees, reduce the heat to low/medium and add shallots and cook about 30-40 min, until they are golden brown.  Oil should stay below 260 degrees.

Next peel your rutabagas.  This was my first experience with anyone in the turnip family.  Other than Peter Rabbit, I had never come in contact with them.  It's a shame, I have to peel that waxy skin off, cause it's just so beautiful.

Dice them up into 1 inch cubes and with the salt, boil them in water for about 30-35 min.  We're aiming for very tender here.

Your lamb should be ready to go.  Heat your oven to 450 degrees.  Place racks on the rack (that's fun to say) and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper.  Fat side should be up.

A couple things about picking good lamb.  Dark red meat is a good sign, shows "youngness" which means tenderness.  If your butcher is cutting these for you (not everyone gets 20 pound meat boxes dropped at their door step...) or you're buying them from the store, you want the fat trimmed but still present on the top for flavor.

Also, check the marrow.  You want to see red in the bones.  This is my number one way of checking the quality of the lamb- we're not going for mutton (older sheep), we want the little guy... bless his/her little heart.  Quick, very quick tear... now back to the oven.

Roast uncovered for 10 min.

How are those shallots doing?  Giving them stirs every now and then?

Now it's go time:

Food process fresh bread crumbs.  I used some wheat sour dough.  Need about a cup or so.

Then process the crumbs, with the parsley (lovely color!), garlic and lemon zest.

Loving my new micro-plane!
Timer goes off, bring the lamb out.  Pat this combo onto the top of the lamb.  Pour melted butter over the top of that.  You're overwhelmed with how beautiful it looks.  You call in your guests to get an ooo and an ahhh.

Roast lamb for another 15 min.

The shallots are probably done.  Using a blotted spoon, lift shallots onto a paper towel.

Crispy McCrisperson
Heat milk and butter in sauce pan prepping for the mash.  Drain the rutabagas and puree them in processor.  I guess that makes them a puree and not a mash.  Whatever you want to do... I had the processor out, so there you go.

a couple batches in fit them all in
They are more liquidy than potatoes.  Add back to pot.  Pour in a little bit of milk/butter at a time until you get desired consistency.  Doesn't take much.

Timer again!  Get the lamb.  Let it rest for another 15 min- SO SO SO important.  Do not rush this.  The juices must redistribute!

Serve with a few greens in a balsamic vinaigrette with homemade crouton and avocado.  And don't forget the crispy shallots on the "pur-ash" or the "mash-ure" (whatever you did to break them down).  I'd pair with a red wine that carries notes of toasted spice, blackberry and earthy herb.

double chops


  1. forgot to mention that I actually ate rack of lamb Sunday night and ....drum roll.....really liked it! First time ever! The chef was from Henry's BQ on Lighthouse (across from Baskins Robbins) Must take you there next time you are in town! He knows his stuff. He said that gamey yucky taste I don't like comes from a gland that is not removed from the other lamb cuts(chops, leg of, shoulder roast)! Rack of lamb has it removed. Explains so much to me!

  2. This is a great lamb recipe! It looks delicious!

  3. You made that? I'm definitely coming to visit when I get to Portland! (This is Roger, Peter and Katie's friend from SOcal Moving to Portland).