Rack of Lamb With Creole Mustard Crust, Rosemary Jus,and Apple Mint Relish

Rack of Lamb With Creole Mustard Crust, Rosemary Jus,and Apple Mint Relish

On Easter, New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse will prepare this lamb entree for his family.

(You may substitute a basic leg of lamb, using appropriate directions, cooking time, and temperature.)

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Creole Seasoning (recipe follows)

2 racks of lamb (about 8 bones each), trimmed, French-cut (have your butcher do this), each cut in half

2 cups Apple Mint Relish (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons Creole mustard (preferred), or any good whole-seed prepared mustard

1 cup Rosemary Jus (recipe follows)

4 mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

Make an herb-crumb mixture by combining bread crumbs, basil, rosemary, thyme, oil, and 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning in a small bowl. Set aside.

Sprinkle the 4 half racks (or whatever cut of lamb you're using) with the remaining 2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning, using 1/2 teaspoon to season the meat on each half rack.

Heat a large skillet over high heat for about 1 minute. Place 2 of the half racks, fat side down, in the skillet and sear for 2 minutes, turn and sear for 2 minutes on second side. Remove and repeat with the remaining 2 half racks. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Prepare the Apple Mint Relish, and set aside.

When lamb is cool, brush with 1-1/2 teaspoons of mustard, and top with the herbed crumbs, using your hands to pack it on the meat. Place the lamb, fat side up, in baking pan, and roast for 45 minutes for medium rare. (If using leg of lamb, roast until meat thermometer registers 140 degrees F. for rare.)

About 10 minutes before the lamb is done, prepare the Rosemary Jus. To serve, cut each half rack into 4 chops and arrange them on dinner plates. Add 1/2 cup of the Apple Mint Relish and 1/4 cup of the Rosemary Jus. Garnish with a mint sprig. Serves 4 to 6.

CREOLE SEASONING:

2-1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion pepper

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

1 tablespoon dried leaf thyme

Mix well and store remainder.

ROSEMARY JUS:

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 turns freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 cups lamb, veal, or chicken stock

Combine shallots, garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan, place over high heat, and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced to about 3/4 to 1 cup. Remove from heat. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat in a small saucepan over lowest heat.

APPLE MINT RELISH:

2 cups water

1 lemon, juice only

2 sweet apples, peeled and finely diced

1 teaspoon sugar

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

In a bowl, combine the water and lemon juice. Add chopped apples, and soak them for 20 minutes. Drain apples, reserving 3 tablespoons of the lemon water. Combine apples, sugar, mint, and the 3 tablespoons lemon water, and mix until thoroughly blended. Serve immediately or store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Stir well before serving. Makes about 2 cups.

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