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Valentines Dinner - first rack of lamb?

Want to make a nice, healthy-ish meal for my wife and I for Valentine's day. My inclination is to do a rack of lamb, despite not having made one before. I found a few good ideas online, seems pretty simple, marinate overnight in a savory mixture, roast for 20-30 minutes for a normal sized rack (I'll use a meat thermometer, what temp am I shooting for if we like protein med-rare? 135 or so?) and rest, per usual. Am I oversimplifying this? I've had lamb before and definitely enjoy it, I just haven't prepared it myself. I have a gas convection oven now and I've found I like to activate that about 5 minutes before finishing to give a nice browned crust to the roast.

I'm planning on doing a simple garlic mashed potato along with pan-fried asparagus with a simple hollandaise sauce. My wife loves hollandaise, I don't get all the fanfare but I will try it.

Does this sound like a reasonable menu? It sure beats eating out!

Thanks for any advice,
Todd

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  1. I wouldn't change a thing. She's a lucky lady.

    1. I'll point you to the Barefoot Contessa for the lamb and the asparagus with hollandaise.
      I've made both with success.

      Lamb:
      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

      Asparagus with Hollandaise:
      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

      What's nice about oven roasting vs. pan roasting the asparagus is that you can roast it in the oven just as you pull the lamb and let it rest.
      Have a sheet pan with the asparagus ready to go, and you've go one less "a la minute" dish to worry about!
      The hollandaise in the blender is easy peasy and can be made a bit ahead of time too.

      Lucky wife!!

      For med. rare lamb, pull at 135 and let rest 10 minutes, tented with foil.

      1. I liked garlic mash potatoes, but consider Michael Symon's brown butter mash potatoes - http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/br...

        I have made mash potatoes about every way they can be made, and my wife and I think these are the best. Don't worry about the crème fraîche, sour cream is just as good in this recipe (have tried both ways).

        Can't go wrong with asparagus with a simple hollandaise sauce, but if you can find the baby tips I think they are the most tender. With mature asparagus, I have read (and tried once) to peel them - I wasn't sure this made a big difference.

        With the lamb (and the expensive of it), I agree I would pay close attention to that meat thermometer - it would be terrible to overcook. And remember, the internal temp may rise 5 to even 10 degrees after removing it. We like our meat rare, but even if desiring med rare, I might take it out at 125... certainly if you are roasting at a high temp.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pegasis0066

          I'm with you on the 125. 135 is too well done for my taste.

          I like doing a simple rub the night before with mustard, garlic, ginger, a little soy and olive oil.

        2. You guys are awesome - I will look into that recipe for brown butter mash potatoes, I am a fan of Michael Symon.

          I plan on doing the blender hollandaise and roasting the asparagus is fine as well and would certainly make the timing a little easier; pull the roast out (and I agree, we like rare to mid-rare so 125 is fine) and then put the asparagus in while it rests. I like cooking that way so despite being eager to eat the meal, I have to wait for something to cook which gives me the proper resting time.

          Thank you!

          2 Replies
          1. re: toddrhodes

            On the blender hollandaise, it's been hit or miss with me. Sometimes the consistency is just right but other times it's a bit runny. I have learned that leaving it sit 30 min or more helps reduce the runniness, and that leaving it sit won't hurt anything, in terms of it going bad or it not being warm enough.

            There is nothing worse (ok there are lots of things worse but not in the sauce department) than runny hollandaise or bearnaise.

            1. re: pegasis0066

              Thank you so much for the advice. I've only done the blender hollandaise once and my wife loved it, hopefully I can repeat that this time :)

          2. I'd shoot for 120-125F, pull it an let it rest as the internal temp will rise.