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
Heat oven to 375°F.
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.
Whisk mustard and 1 Tbsp. oil in small bowl; reserve.
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.
Heat jus and zests in small saucepan set over medium-high heat; add juices to taste (citrus should be assertive); reserve (keep warm).
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