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Fennel-Crusted Grilled Rack of Lamb

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Jesse Silver
Total time 1 hr, 30 mins
Marinate time 4 hrs
Yield Serves 8 to 10
Fennel seeds and rosemary perfume every bite of this tenderest of cuts. You can also roast the lamb in a 450° oven (meat side up) until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°, about 25 minutes. Paired with grilled asparagus and long-simmered white beans, it makes an Easter-worthy dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 racks American lamb (7 to 8 ribs each), bone ends frenched and all but a thin layer of outer fat removed*

Nutrition Information

  • calories 552
  • caloriesfromfat 73 %
  • protein 34 g
  • fat 45 g
  • satfat 18 g
  • carbohydrate 1.5 g
  • fiber 0.7 g
  • sodium 798 mg
  • cholesterol 146 mg

How to Make It

  1. Crush fennel seeds, rosemary, and garlic with salt in a mortar, or chop as finely as possible. Mix with pepper and oil.

  2. Slather lamb with marinade. Chill, covered, at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

  3. Take lamb out of refrigerator 1 hour before grilling. Wrap bone ends with foil.

  4. Heat a grill to medium-high (400°) with one area left clear of coals (for charcoal) or a burner turned off (for gas) to make an indirect heat area. Grill lamb, meat side down, over indirect heat 5 minutes. Turn over and grill 10 minutes. Turn again; grill 10 minutes more. Move lamb to direct heat, meat side down, and grill 3 to 5 minutes, or until it's crisp and browned and registers 140° (for medium-rare).

  5. Let lamb rest on a platter 15 minutes. Cut between the bones to serve.

  6. *Leave the barest sheath of fat on the meat--enough to crisp up on the grill but not so much that the dripping fat creates an inferno.