My wife had just gotten home and smelled what I was cooking in the kitchen (after her requisite “Its so smoky!” and, just in case she didn’t say it loud enough, “Oh, my eyes hurt from all the smoke!“)
Well, what can you expect from a Garlic Rosemary Bread-Crumb Crusted Rack of Lamb, anyway? Yah, I had finally pulled out one of the New Zealand racks of lamb I had bought a month before and decided to give them a go. Not wanting to waste all 8 ribs, I elected to only cook 5 of them and left the other three in the freezer.
Tactical error, it turned out.
While all this prep was going on, our front doorbell had rung– the disconnected one as it turned out so no wonder we didn’t hear it–and our friends A&B had literally been at our front door…dropping by unexpectedly!
I checked my phone and yah, they had indeed been outside our darkened front room (our living room light had burnt out) and so they had left a phone message and headed off to home.
Just as I checked the voicemail and talked to them, I realized that it hadn’t been a jest–they had dropped by! They said they were already on the freeway and I instructed them to get off the freeway and head back.
“I just pulled a rack for lamb out of the oven! Get your asses back here!” And they quickly complied.
But now what? I had five small lamb ribs and four people. So, I calculated. OK, I pulled a frozen leg of duck confit out of the freezer and threw it in the microwave to defrost, pulled out the classic tabbouleh I had made the night before, and divided the two small potatoes into four pieces. Dessert? Well, by utter chance I had bought some Berkeley Bowl brand mocha fudge ice cream to which I added some toasted almonds.
By utter luck I had made boiled peanuts the night before so that served as an small appetizer, and between a bottle of 2012 Mouton Cadet Bordeaux, a bottle of Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale, we had a great impromptu sit-down meal.
I hadn’t ever cooked rack of lamb before and reports of how long it would take to get the cut to a nice medium rare included quotes of 12-18 minutes to as long as 25-30. WTF…? Given that this was a small rack, I opted for the shorter amount of time and the later check with the thermometer showed it had reached the optimum of medium rare at about 140F.
Great evening and always a joy to host those two. The only drawback was that there were no leftovers–as there wasn’t that much food for four of us, but overall we managed to eat well, catch up, and have a great time. While I can’t say that I’ve come close to ‘mastering’ lamb, I will say that I gained some good experience. Good times.
Even managed to make a couple of pisco sours for the four of us.