25th Anniversary worthy?

So my parents recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and unfortunately I wasn’t in town.  But luckily, my sisters took them out to celebrate and when I arrive I will be making a feast for my parents and sisters!  EXCITEMENT!

So I thought rack of lamb would be perfect – especially since everyone in my family enjoys it.

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Pinot Noir Sauce – 8 servings
Make the sauce recipe below first, or better yet a day ahead.

2 racks of lamb (about 2 lbs each), frenched
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp.
4 cloves garlic confit, mashed
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon thyme, minced

Score the fat on lamb in 1/2 inch crosshatch pattern (try not to cut the meat). Season racks with salt and pepper. Prepare a roasting pan with rack.

Heat canola oil in a frying pan over medium-heat. Put 1 rack at a time, fat side down, and sear until golden brown. Transfer lamb to a roasting rack meat side up. Clean out pan, add fresh oil, and repeat with other rack.

Combine mustard and honey in a small bowl and set aside. Combine butter and garlic confit puree until smooth, add parsley and thyme. Mix until well combined.

Brush honey-mustard mixture over fat and meat, but don’t put any on the underside. Spread herb butter mixture evenly over racks, pressing gently. If possible refrigerate overnight or a few hours, the herbs will give the lamb more flavor, otherwise continue with the recipe. Bring to room temperature before roasting.

Position roasting rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Place both racks in the oven, the meat towards the back, roast for 25-35 minutes, the meat temperature should be about 128-130 degrees F.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Pinot Noir Sauce – 1 1/2 cups
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 lbs lamb bones
1 lb onion, chopped coarsely
1 large carrot, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
4 1/3 cups pinot noir
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons flour

Heat oil over medium heat, add lamb bones and cook until brown, turning occasionally, about 18 minutes. Transfer lamb to bowl. Add onions, carrot, garlic, and herbe de provence. Saute until veggies are dark brown, about 8 minutes. Add wine, broth and return the lamb and any juices accumulated to pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.  Strain into bowl.  Spoon off fat, and return to pot.  Simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes.

Mix butter and flour to paste, whisk into stock.  Simmer sauce until thickeded, whisking constantly.  Season with salt and pepper, serve immediately.

For their anniversary, I have been working on a menu, which I partially test runned tonight.

Assorted Hors D’oeuvres

Mesclun Greens with Balsamic Dressing

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Honey-Mustard Glaze and Pinot Noir Sauce

Potato Mushroom Gratin

Haricots Verts with Shallots

Croquembouche with Champagne

I’ll also be making Herbes de Provence bread and garlic confit.  I’m still not sure about the hors d’oeuvres so I’ll be working on that this weekend.

I also wanted to say you do not have to serve lamb with the gratin, you could make a lovely butter polenta and it would go wonderfully.

Our test run went fabulously, and the bottle of pinot gris we enjoyed just topped the evening off.  Enjoy the pictures.

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