Bryan loves rack of lamb but often avoids it because he hates getting his hands dirty. If we do end up ordering it at a nice restaurant, he eats as much as he can (with a fork and knife) and then hands me the bone, which I proceed to gnaw on quite happily.
After all, the meat next to the bone is the tastiest part, right?
This post is part 3 of the crazy lamb-centric meal that I created on Sunday night (right after our crazy snowstorm) in honor of Lamb Lover's Month in collaboration with the American Lamb Board. Other posts in this series include Lamb Loin with Chili, Mint, and Mustard Seed and Lamb Bolognese.
Inspired mostly by Daniel Humm's preparation of lamb rack in his Eleven Madison Park cookbook, I decided to try adapting his gorgeous (insanely complicated) dish into something that a home cook a whip up in a couple hours for a nice, romantic dinner.
Daniel Humm makes a morel mushroom cream sauce by cooking fresh morel mushrooms with butter, shallots, and cream. I simplified this by just cooking reconstituted dried morel mushrooms with a bit of butter and salt.
His recipe also calls for handmade lamb tortellinis (filled with lamb shank, goat cheese, mint, sheep's milk yogurt, among other things). I simplified this quite a bit by making a lamb Bolognese instead and adding "swirls" of pasta on the plate.
I made braised mustard seeds from a recipe in Grant Achatz's Alinea (since Daniel Humm's book didn't have it, even though the picture of the finished product clearly includes mustard seeds).
Finally, inspired by the artful way in which Daniel Humm always plates his dishes, I tried to recreate something that was similar.
Rack of Lamb with Morels, Asparagus, and Mustard Seeds
1 Rack of lamb, Frenched
Salt and pepper
1 T Olive oil
2-4 Morel mushrooms
1 T butter
2-3 mint leaves
1 teaspoon braised mustard seeds (see below)
1 asparagus stalk
Prepare rack of lamb (two ways described below)
Generously season with salt and pepper the entire rack of lamb. Vacuum pack lamb inside a vacuum bag with 1 T olive oil and seal. Cook sous vide at 55 °C (130 ° F) for two hours. Quickly sear the edge in a very hot cast iron pot for about 1 minute or until a nice sear has been formed. Slice lamb rack between the ribs.
Generously season with salt and pepper the entire rack of lamb. Cover the bone tips with foil to prevent then from burning. Allow rack to warm up to room temperature (about 1 hour). Preheat oven to 350 °F. Sear all sides of the lamb rack in a cast iron skillet. Place in the oven and cook until the rack reaches an internal temperature of 145 °F (medium rare). Let the rack rest of 10 minutes before slicing between the ribs.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook asparagus for 3-4 minutes. Rinse immediately with cold water to preserve the bright green color. Shave thin ribbons with a peeler.
Butter Morel Mushrooms
Melt 1T butter over medium heat until melted. Cook Morel mushrooms in butter for about 5 minutes, until softened. Season with salt to taste.
50g (1.8 oz) dried mustard seeds
5g white wine vinegar
1g Kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and let stand for an hour. Water will be completely absorbed and mustard seeds will be plump and tender.
Putting It All Together
Arrange each plate with the components:
1 sliced lamb rack
1 butter morel mushroom
2-3 small scoops of braised mustard seed
2-3 mint leaves
1-2 lamb Bolognese ribbon swirls
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