Rack of Lamb with Goat Cheese Crust

Rack of Lamb with Goat Cheese Crust

Goat Cheese Crust:
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature (1/2 cup)
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
1/2 ounce plus Pecorino Romano, grated (2 heaping tablespoons)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 rack of lamb with 8 chops, trimmed (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Seasoning Salt or salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish

Goat Cheese Crust
Place the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon of the bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, egg yolk, and salt together in a small bowl and blend. Combine 3 tablespoons of the bread crumbs, pecorino, and pepper in another small bowl. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500º.
Trim the excess fat from the rack of lamb, and trim and clean between the rib bones. Rub the oil over the meat and season with the seasoning salt. Place the lamb on a rack in a shallow baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 110º F. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 450º F. Coat the topside of rack of lamb with the goat cheese mixture. Pat the bread crumb mixture over this, pressing slightly so it adheres. Return to the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until medium rare. The internal temperature should be 145º F. on a meat thermometer and the cheese crust should be golden brown. If a more browned crust is desired, place 3 inches under a high broiler for a few minutes before the lamb reaches 145º F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. To serve, cut the rack into chops. Be careful to keep the crust with each chop. Garnish with rosemary. Serve 2 chops to each person.

Serves 4

Copyright © 2000 by Paula Lambert, The Cheese Lover's Cookbook and Guide, all rights reserved.