Are you intimidated by cooking a full rack of lamb? I know I am! The full rack can be tricky to cook properly and with each rack costing a small fortune, it’s not an easy cut to simply practice with.
These crispy Parmesan and Herb Crusted Lamb Chops are easy to prepare and perfect for a spring special occasion for two. Spring lamb is often associated with Easter and Passover celebrations, however spring has only just begun and there’s plenty of American-produced lamb available year-round.
A rack of lamb generally has eight ribs. Ask your butcher to “french” the rack if it’s not already sold this way. To “french” simply means to remove all the connective tissue and fat down to the main meaty portion of the rib so that the rib bone is exposed to create an attractive presentation. (When cooking these chops, that exposed rib bone provides a convenient way to turn them without disturbing the coating.) After all that fancy trimming, cut the rack into eight individual chops.
I don’t use a high-end imported Italian cheese for the coating. Instead I prefer to use a good-quality pre-shredded American-made Parmesan like Sartori. You can find many of their amazing cheeses in grocery stores around the country. I love their products because besides being located near my hometown in Wisconsin, they’ve won a crazy number of awards and for the price you can’t go wrong. (Not a paid endorsement….I just love their cheese!)
After cooking the chops approximately two minutes per side, each rib chop should be cooked to about 130 degrees which is between rare and medium-rare. Some slight residual cooking will occur, taking them to about 135 degrees which is perfect for lamb. So that you don’t have to hold them warm in a low oven, you may wish to cook them in two large pans. Four chops will fit without crowding in a 12-inch skillet.
I like to pair these chops with a vegetable puree such as lima bean, cauliflower or celery root. Simply cook the vegetables in chicken stock with garlic and some onion or shallot. Drain out the excess liquid then puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Braised young carrots tossed with a little butter and parsley or chives are also a nice addition.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small lamb rack (about 1 3/4 pound), frenched, fat trimmed and cut into 8 individual chops
1/4 cup olive oil or as needed
Combine flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper on a plate.
Place eggs in a bowl and beat to blend.
Combine cheese, panko, rosemary, parsley, thyme, garlic and salt and black pepper to taste in a bowl.
Dust lamb chops with seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Dip in eggs, then thoroughly coat with cheese, breadcrumb and herb mixture.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add 3 to 4 chops, reduce heat to medium and cook until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet and hold warm in the oven if necessary. Repeat with remaining chops.