Crown Roast of Lamb with Mint and Green Onion Pesto

Total Time:
1 hr 55 min
Prep:
35 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
1 hr 10 min

Yield:
2 to 4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Lamb:
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 racks of lamb, frenched, fat caps trimmed
  • Pesto:
  • 4 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, with some tender stems
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 green onions, green and light green parts only, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Fresno chile, seeded, deveined and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
Directions
  • For the lamb: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, coriander, cumin and fennel.

  • Drizzle the olive oil over both sides of the racks of lamb, then evenly apply the dry rub all over the lamb.

  • Using a sharp knife, make cuts between each of the rib bones on the back sides of the racks to allow the straight racks to be flexible and formed into a crown.

  • Tie the 2 racks together where they meet. Lift them so that the bare bones point upward and fashion them into a crown, then secure by tying twine around the bottom and midsection.

  • Place the crown roast onto a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet.

  • Roast until a thermometer inserted into the meat (avoid touching bone) registers 110 degrees F, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

  • For the pesto: Into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add the mint, cilantro, almonds, salt, green onions, garlic and chile. Pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary, until finely chopped. With the machine running, add 3/4 cup of the olive oil in a steady stream.

  • Pour the pesto into a bowl. Add the remaining 3/4 cup olive oil and the lemon juice. Season to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, or refrigerate (bring to room temperature 30 minutes prior to serving the lamb).

  • Remove the lamb from the oven and raise the oven temperature to 500 degrees F.

  • Place a sheet of foil over the bones to keep them from burning. Roast the lamb until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a chop reaches 125 degrees F for medium-rare or 135 degrees F for medium, an additional 10 minutes. Tent the lamb with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the twine and carve into chops; serve with pesto on the side.

  • Special equipment: kitchen twine


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    Crown Roast of Lamb

    Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown