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Edible portion of rack of lamb

I am planning a dinner and serving rack of lamb. From what I've read 2-4 chops per person is standard. But, does anyone have any idea how many oz usually per lb of bone in rack? There will be a various number of large and larger eaters (myself included) so I want to make sure to have enough.

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  1. Each chop has maybe 1-2 oz of meat. Typically we serve 4-5 chops with generous sides for big eaters. I think you will find two chops inadequate but size varies.

    1 Reply
    1. re: melpy

      Thanks, so I'll estimate 8oz per lb

    2. A rack has 7 or 8 ribs. I'd plan on a half rack per person and people can ask if they'd like fewer.

      3 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        I agree that a half rack per person is an acceptable, dinner-party serving, though it's gonna leave me hungry - especially if the bones are Frenched (I hate that - such a waste of good eats). If making such a dish for myself at home, a whole rack would be the norm.

        A two chop serving has it's place - on a cocktail napkin, taken from a passed tray, at a wedding of bar mitzvah, while trying to figure out how not to spill one's drink and continue to agree that it is indeed "a lovely affair".

        1. re: MGZ

          I concur! I would have to say a minimum of 4 chops per person as an entree. I like to use the bones to pick my teeth with after eating.

          A true guilty pleasure is when I can still find somewhere that serves their chops with mint jelly. Such an odd but perfect combinations. You find so many places doing different takes on lamb chops, but just a simple chop with a side of mint jelly can be such a basic pleasure. A fine Dijon is another simple but favored side for my chops. What can I say I'm a simple guy.

          1. re: jrvedivici

            A fine old school treat - ideally, part of the cocktail hour payback for the envelope you just left for cousin's kid.

      2. A half or whole rack per person? I am astonished!

        In our house, a rack serves at least 4, sometimes 5. But we believe in serving an excellent piece, thought modest serving, of meat with a wide variety of other dishes. This is about 2-3 oz of meat per person. When part of a dinner with appetizers, soup, main course with a variety of dishes and dessert, it feels like enough to us.

        But, of course, that wasn't your question. I would guess that half of the weight of a rack is the bone and fat cap.

        2 Replies
        1. re: smtucker

          When Bob and I have it, we share a half rack. Along with the rest of the meal, we consider that perfect. But, like you, I understand that many want more.

          1. re: smtucker

            2-3 oz. of meat per person? Ouch. I'm no fan of caveman-sized steaks, but even with a side dish or two, I'd prefer about double that amount. 5-6 oz. is pretty decent... but if the meat is *really* great quality and perfectly cooked, I might want as much as 8 oz.

          2. I've read that too (standard). And with the various sides should be more than enough portion wise.

            Any special way you're preparing the lamb this time?

            5 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              Just roasting with an anchovy rosemary rub. It will likely be the star aside some spinach. No other side dishes hence the question because none of us really eat starchy carbs and it's just a small fun gathering.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I'm going to try that this week myself. This is the second time I asked you and you replied with anchovy rosemary. I gotta do it!

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    I've just came in from the market and bought a few cans of anchovy fillets and paste. I was all out. Thanks, fldh.

            2. Typically, at home, DH and I will have 2 ribs each for dinner along w/ a 1/2 lb of veg each, and 1/4 to 1/3 lb of something carb-ish.
              When estimating quantities of bone-in meat, I consider a standard serving the be 1/2 lb per person. For dinner party planning, add 20% to 25% extra overall to account for larger eaters, or a "situation"... One night someone who was helping dropped one of the trays. Sigh.

              1. I can't believe there are people out there who consider 2 chops to be an acceptable serving. If I ordered RoL at a restaurant and got 2 chops I would be furious.

                4 is the minimum for me.

                *Disclaimer: I am a regular sized guy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: joonjoon

                  ha, looks like some of this thread got deleted.

                  i am a tiny female and 2 chops would be cocktail hour food for me. even with a big spread, i could easily eat 4. btw, lamb is my favorite if the 4-legged critters i eat.

                2. This photo is a regular large portion. American portions, double or triple the meat, omit veggies and double potato. ..

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: Gastronomos

                    Interesting, I'm American and "double or triple the meat, omit veggies and double potato. .." was not my plan or intention in asking this question.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      I would serve per the photo. It is a large portion of meat and the plate looks fine. American portions just seem to be too big for me, despite the questions

                      1. re: Gastronomos

                        So you're basically agreeing with folks that 2-3 oz. is a small portion.

                        Your photo looks like *at least* 5 oz. of meat.

                        1. re: Gastronomos

                          I dunno. I'm not so sure I'd call two thin-cut chops (what look to be about a total of 4 oz. of meat at most) to be a "large" portion, despite the assertions of the USDA. I'd add a third chop for a regular portion and a fourth before I'd call it large.

                          And of course most restaurants would give you two or three double-cut chops in a regular order, or at least all the ones I've been to would, while those in the pic are only single thin-cut. And those I've been to would have roughly those amounts of sides, so the generalizations about what is or should be a regular portion and what is commonly deleted may not always hold true.

                          But of course that wasn't the question, was it?

                          As others have noted, a typical rack is about 50% waste, more if you were to closely French them yourself. If that's already been done, then much less. If buying small 1-lb. racks from Aus. or NZ, you could allow 1 whole rack per person, but if buying large 2-lb. US racks, then probably half-rack per person will suffice.

                          If you buy them from Costco (best price and quality) you can get some fairly large ones and go half a rack pp. Virtually no trimming necessary unless you are a fat-phobe.

                          1. re: acgold7

                            We get the Costco ones and share a half rack. But we are getting older and find we just don't need/want as much meat as we used to. And we're major carnivores.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              I am just as amazed by this now as I was when you shared this upthread. I know older people eat less but I cannot conceive of being satisfied after 4 oz. of protein no matter how many other sides were provided. You are, frankly, quite fortunate.

                              I'm afraid I must ask you to turn in your Major Carnivore card now, as you have fallen below your 8 oz. per meal per person qualifying membership minimum ;-)

                              1. re: acgold7

                                LOL. AND I need to lose weight :) It's not the meat. It's the Cheetos :) But we save a ton of money on meat. An 8oz. piece of steak is a dinner and a breakfast.

                      2. re: Gastronomos

                        You would never be served 2 chops as a portion in a European Restaurant unless is was part of a tasting menu.
                        A typical French portion would be 2 Double Chops(half a Rack)

                        1. re: Gastronomos

                          Is this something you plated or the result of a trip down a buffet line?

                          1. re: Gastronomos

                            Probably ought to offer those uncouth Americans a bottle of ketchup too...

                            1. re: rjbh20

                              Don't forget the ranch dressing.

                          2. Since you're not serving any carbs, I'd also suggest 1 additional side, either veg or salad. Caprese, roasted vegetables, Greek salad, lots of options.

                            1. I usually serve 3 chops per person

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                And it looks like 8 brussels sprouts....:)

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  Um, there are 9. I like odd numbers

                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                      Scuba is also a generous bartender, what with those odd numbers!

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                        Hotoy, you gave me an idea for a "guess how many goldfish are in the orange juice" contest.

                                  1. Various portions depending on the size of the rack and what else in the meal.

                                    1. Here are my thoughts.....portion size by ribs or weight is arbitrary at best being mentioned here thus far, as we do not know if you are serving a smaller Imported Lamb or the Larger American Lamb.

                                      US Lamb can vary greatly in price depending on your area, and the market where you purchase....but Imported Lamb can easily be had for 9.99 on sale and rarely over 14.99 a pound when at regular prices. If you choose to serve the latter, spring for the extra $15 bucks and an extra rack and make everyone happy.

                                      Teasing is not proper hosting...I would be embarrassed to serve 2 ribs.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        The American lamb portions are large enough that 2-3 will be a good serving while half a rack is a good serving for the New Zealand racks. You will need to know which product you are getting rather than just the weights.

                                      2. Just as a follow-up, 3 racks of baby New Zealand lamb weighing 1 lb yielded a pretty consistent 8.5 oz each. For anyone else who ever wonders, assuming a 50% yield would probably be the best estimate.

                                        4 Replies
                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              Okay, I'll eat the extra if you insist.

                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                I hesitate to admit how much I will buy next time now that I know the approximate edible portion...I would hate to be called a fat, nasty American again :) But, just for the sake of it, I could have inhaled a rack myself but then again I don't eat much else. 8 oz of meat among my crowd of weightlifters is a snack.