My Mediterranean-style crown rack of lamb is a delicious and show-stopping main course!
I know some people are intimidated by the crown rack of lamb because it looks so fancy, and it is pretty fancy. Perfect for your guests if you’re going to be hosting Easter this year or any kind of get-together. Really, this is good all year long. I’m going to break it down and show you just how easy it can be.
I like to serve mine with my Mediterranean rice pilaf, but you can serve this with anything. We’ll get to that, but first, let’s go over the ingredients.
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- dried oregano
- peeled garlic
- cumin powder
- fresh Rosemary
- the star of the show… racks of lamb
I used two racks of lamb, but you can use three if you feel so inclined. Just make sure that you buy them already Frenched. If not, have your butcher do it.
How long can you marinate lamb?
You can make the marinade and marinate your racks up to two days ahead of time. The more you let it sit marinating in these herbs and spices the better! However, these herbs and spices are also very potent. So, you can marinate it last minute, and then bake it off the same day.
I just pour the marinade all over both of my lamb racks. With your hands make sure you get it all around the front and back of the racks. At this point, you can just cover them with some plastic wrap and keep them in your refrigerator for a couple of hours, overnight, or up to two days in advance. Before you’re about to roast them, make sure to take them out and leave at room temperature for a little while. You never want to roast cold meat.
Even though the marinade has some salt in it, you’ll want to make sure that the lamb is seasoned really well. So, just sprinkle some salt on top like you would on top of your eggs in the morning. Then flip it over and do the same thing to the other side.
How do you tie a rack of lamb?
In order to make a crown rack of lamb, you’re going to need a bundt pan. That’s what the lamb racks are going to sit in to help them bake evenly and hold their flavor. You’re also going to need some kitchen twine to tie the racks up. It’s really not that hard. Just connect two end ribs together. Then, cut a piece of kitchen twine about 2 to 3 feet.
Stand the racks up together and start loosely wrapping the twine around the racks. When it starts to hold its shape, wrap it just a little tighter so that it can hold together. Go back up with the twine to connect both sides so that it forms a crown. Then, go ahead and put it in your bundt pan along with all of the remaining juices from the marinade. Cover the bones on top with foil so they don’t burn.
Cook your crown rack of lamb for about 30 to 35 minutes until the internal temperature registers 130 F. This will give you a nice rare lamb. If you like it cooked a little bit more, go ahead and cook it a little bit longer. A temperature of 135-140 F is medium, and that’s the way I like it. Cook it to your liking. Once it comes out of the oven, you’re going to want to cover the whole thing with foil and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. This allows all the juices to redistribute in the lamb.
I like to make a little dressing to go on top. Take a little bit of balsamic vinegar, a tiny bit of Greek honey, some fresh Rosemary, a little bit of salt, and some cold-pressed Greek extra virgin olive oil and whisk it together. Transfer your rack of lamb to a platter and add all of the pan drippings to the dressing. Then, pour it on top to glaze the lamp and deepen the flavor.
What to serve with a crown rack of lamb?
I would try Mediterranean rice pilaf before you try any other side. However, you could try some spanakorizo (which is my spinach and rice pilaf), roasted vegetables, pasta, mashed potatoes or even roasted potatoes.
Place a layer of your side into a circle serving dish. Put the crown rack of lamb on top of that and carefully cut the strings off. Then, fill the center with the rest of your side. Make sure that whatever you’re feeling it with is nice and warm so it keeps the lamp warm for a while.
Transfer the dressing that you made with balsamic vinegar to another little serving dish. Guests will be able to pour as much as they want on top of their lamb.
The lamb is so moist, tender and juicy. The Rosemary and the garlic perfume the dish perfectly. I think your guests are going to love it!
Watch my video to learn how to make this crown rack of lamb!
- 2 racks of lamb, 7 to 8 ribs each, frenched
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons dried oregano
For the lamb marinade:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 8 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
For the sauce:
- Pan drippings
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Greek honey
- ½ cup olive oil
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Serve the lamb with any of these:
- Mediterranean Rice Pilaf
- Spinach & Rice Pilaf
- Lemony Roasted Potatoes
- Lemony Mashed Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 425 °F, 220 °C.
- Marinate the lamb:
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined.
- Place the lamb racks in. a baking dish or sheet pan. Pour the marinade over the lamb and rub it all over to coat the lamb.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days.
- Allow the meat to come to room temperature before roasting.
- Season with salt and pepper on both sides and with oregano.
- Use kitchen twine to tie 2 of the ribs together to attach both racks.
- Bend the racks into a crown shape and use the twine to tie the bottom part of the rack. Wrap the twine around the bottom 3-4 times tightening as you go taking care to keep the crown-shape.
- Tie the other 2 ribs together and place the crown into a Bundt pan. This will help it keep its shape while roasting.
- Pour the remaining marinade into the Bundt pan.
- Cover the exposed bones with foil.
- Roast for 35 minutes or until the desired doneness is reached:
- For rare: 125-130°F
- For medium-rare: 130 – 135°F
- For medium: 135-140°F
- For well-done: 145°F or higher.
- As soon as it comes out of the oven, tent it with foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes. This will keep it juicy and the temperature will also rise slightly.
- Make the sauce:
- Combine all of the ingredients except for the pan juices. Whisk together until combined. Add the pan juices after the meat rests. Pour into a serving bowl and serve alongside the lamb.
- Serve the lamb:
- If serving the lamb with Mediterranean Rice Pilaf, create a bed of rice on a serving dish and place the crown on top. Fill the lamb cavity with the rice pilaf (make sure it’s still hot to help keep the lamb warm).
- Carefully remove all the string.
- Carve the roast by slicing between the rib bones. Enjoy!
Purchase the racks of lamb already frenched or let your butcher take care of that. You can follow the instructions on how to French the lamb rack yourself here.
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