One recipe you could try on this year’s Easter weekend is my no-fail Roasted Rack of Lamb with Parsnips. Lamb dishes are a signature of Easter and Spring season and a quick and easy one like this simple idea could sort one of your meals in under an hour.
Lamb became my favourite meat about 10 years ago (a while after I had moved to the UK), although previously I was convinced I hated it. Strange thing how one shepherd’s pie can turn your world upside down! And I am glad it did!
These days I almost always have a backup of individual, baby pies in my freezer, which makes things very convenient at times, when I am too busy to cook dinner or want to make sure that my partner has a home cooked meal when I am away. Roasted Rack of Lamb with Parsnips tastes best when cooked fresh though, so I tend to cook it the day I buy my lamb. Lamb in general doesn’t have a long shelf life and the sooner you cook it the better.
It might seem that Roasted Rack of Lamb with Parsnips calls for a special occasion, especially since I mentioned it is a good Easter meal idea, but in fact it can be made on any week night too. The reason is that it will take hardly 10 min of your time before you put it in the oven, so even if you are tired after a long day, this is a quick and tasty meal you don’t need to slave away for hours in the kitchen for.
No special preparation is required. You need only 5 ingredients, plus salt & pepper to taste and a moment to put them all together before roasting.
Cooking time for Roasted Rack of Lamb with Parsnips may vary depending on how big it is. (In general, 1lb with 6 racks – cooked medium rare will take about 25 min in the oven).
I’ve seen some ginormous racks from New Zealand (they say that some of the best lamb comes from New Zealand), but in general 1 – 1.5lb is plenty for a meal for two. What I’d suggest though is instead of counting racks, focus on the weight and the amount of meat on the bones.
The leaner the better. Lamb meat has a strong and very distinct flavour anyway and even if cooked fast it delivers in this department beautifully.
ROASTED RACK OF LAMB WITH PARSNIPS
Talking about the flavour of the Roasted Rack of Lamb with Parsnips: if you ever come across the salt marsh lamb, grab it without thinking twice. I only had it once (in Wales, UK) and the flavour of that meat was absolutely divine! It is not the most common type of lamb, but if you look for it you might get lucky! Keep your eyes out for it!
“Salt Marsh Lamb is a term that means the lamb has eaten in pastures close to the seaside, which are often flooded by the sea in spring. This location makes the grasses rich in sodium and iodine. (…)
The lambs of course don’t look any different, but many swear they will know by the taste if they have been fed real Salt Marsh Lamb or not. The flavour isn’t actually salty, just richer flavoured. The theory is that the sodium and iodine render the cell tissues in the meat more tender and juicier…. read more”.
Whether you use the salt marsh lamb or just this Spring one from your local source the Roasted Rack of Lamb with Parsnips recipe is definitely worth trying. You’ll be surprised how delicious it turned out! Enjoy!
- 1-1.5lb (500-600g) rack of lamb (6-8 racks)
- 300g parsnips - sliced to small, bite size pieces
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 5 garlic cloves - chopped roughly
- 4 strings of rosemary - leaves picked and chopped
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Liberally score the fat part on the rack of lamb. Mix garlic and rosemary with 2 tbsp of oil and rub it all around your rack of lamb. Season with salt and pepper.
- Sear the rack in a skillet pan for about 10 minutes until slightly browned on both sides. Take the pan off the heat.
- Season parsnips with salt and pepper, toss with the rest of the oil. Add the parsnips in with the seared lamb.
- Bake at 400F (200C) for 25 min for medium rare or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat shows 135°F (125°F for rare). If you don’t have a thermometer simply slice the rack in half and check for doneness.
- Allow to rest for 5 min before serving sliced as pictured.