Pan-Roasted Rack Of Lamb With Mustard-Shallot Pan Sauce

Valentine's Day is what you make of it, so celebrating for us basically means having a nice dinner in. I don't like going out to eat on Valentine's Day (I'm scarred by years of waitressing and hostessing). I'd rather cook us a special meal that we can enjoy in our sweatpants. And so we wouldn't feel rushed through dinner like we might on a weeknight, we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day last night.

I tossed around a number of dinner options including some sort of wild boar ravioli or ragu, but I finally narrowed my ideas down to two different lamb dishes and ultimately picked the simplest one. I came across the recipe in Food & Wine, and it instructed how to roast the lamb and then provided three different pan sauce recipes to choose from: olive-prune, tangerine-chile, or mustard-shallot. The mustard-shallot pan sauce sounded the best to me.

With the main course settled, I worked on figuring out our sides. I didn't want to go overboard, so I just got broccoli for Jeff and green beans for me and decided to make us a few popovers. (I got a popover pan from CSN last time I was given the opportunity to review a product, and I absolutely love it. It's nonstick, and I've gotten good results with it so far!)

Pan-Roasted Rack Of Lamb With Mustard-Shallot Pan Sauce (adapted from Food & Wine, February 2011)


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 1-pound frenched racks of lamb (or a 2-pound rack if you can find one) 
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 thinly sliced shallots
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons thyme leaves


Season lamb chops with salt and pepper, and let them sit out on the counter while the oven preheats.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a cast iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Place the lamb in the skillet, fat-side down, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.

Turn the racks over, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the oven, and cook the lamb to 125 degrees, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, and let it rest while you prepare the pan sauce.

Pour off the fat in the skillet, and heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, and saute them until they soften, stirring frequently.

Add the wine to the skillet, and simmer for 2 minutes.

Pour in the chicken stock, and bring the mixture to a simmer.

Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the mustards and thyme.

Slice the racks of lamb between the bones. Serve the lamb chops with the pan sauce.

The lamb was incredibly tender and perfectly pink. The mustard-shallot pan sauce was delicious and just a little bit tangy. I kept pouring more of it over my lamb chops. I've never been one for lamb and mint jelly. Mustard is the way to go!

I even poured some of the sauce over my green beans.

I'll share our dessert with you tomorrow! Happy Valentine's Day! 

If you're celebrating, are you going out to dinner or making dinner? Or did you already celebrate over the weekend like we did?

Do you like lamb chops?