Rack of Lamb with Citrus & Braised Baby Lettuces

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, California / December 5th, 2012

For 2 to 3 servings

  • 8 Tbsps. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 heads Little Gem lettuce
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for lamb
  • 1 rack lamb with 8 rib bones, cap fat trimmed and bones frenched
  • fresh bread crumbs, seasoned with fresh herbs of choice
  • 3/4 cup lamb jus
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  1. Heat oven to 375°F.

  2. Rub inside of enameled cast-iron pot generously with butter; remove outer leaves from lettuces until only pale green firm centers remain; line bottoms and sides of pot with outer leaves in a single layer; place lettuce hearts tightly in center of pan; add remaining butter; season generously; sprinkle with 2 Tbsps. water; cover with a lid; set over low heat; cook, swirling pan occasionally to keep liquid emulsified, until lettuces are tender (add more water as needed if emulsion breaks); remove from heat; remove lid; let cool completely.

  3. Whisk mustard and 1 Tbsp. oil in small bowl; reserve.

  4. Place lamb in baking dish; rub with oil; season with salt; bake 7 minutes; remove from oven; brush liberally all over with reserved mustard mixture; sprinkle with bread crumbs, pressing lightly to adhere; bake until done (about 8 minutes); remove from oven; let rest in warm spot 10 minutes; reserve.

  5. Heat jus and zests in small saucepan set over medium-high heat; add juices to taste (citrus should be assertive); reserve (keep warm).

  6. To serve, slice lamb racks into individual portions; pile on serving platter; place braised lettuce heads around chops; spoon small amount of braising liquid over each head; serve jus on the side.

What to drink: Foucault Saumur-Champigny Clos Rougeard 2000 or Michel Torino Chardonnay Cafayate Valley Don David Reserve 2008