I think it's telling that the only tears of joy that were shed on the night we got engaged (New Year's Eve) were by M, and they were not over the beauty of the vintage ring I'd bought her, but over the rack of lamb I made her, long before the ring made an appearance. This bodes well for our future. I intend to make her many, many more meals... I can't necessarily say the same about buying her diamonds. (Sorry, love.)
This was my second try at duplicating the smoked paprika rack of lamb we had at Daniel on M's thirtieth birthday, and I think I did it. I wanted to bread the lamb, but I didn't want to give up a seared flavor, so here's what I did:
Smoked Paprika Rack of Lamb
Rack of lamb, two bones per person, trimmed of excess fat.
Bread crumbs from one fete biscottate per person (or substitute 2 tbsp plain bread crumbs)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika per person
1 tsp butter per person, melted
flour seasoned with salt
1 egg, beaten.
Salt and pepper
1.) Heat a cast iron griddle or skillet on the stove. Cut the rack of lamb (fresh from the fridge) into portions of two bones each, and season generously with salt and pepper.
2.) When the pan is very hot, sear each side of the lamb shank just until brown (no more than 30 seconds), then remove to a plate to cool. Doing this with the lamb straight from the fridge will make sure they just sear, rather than cooking.
3.) Combine crumbs, paprika, and butter, in that order, and toss until well-combined.
4.) Holding by the bones, dredge the lamb in flour, then egg, then the paprika bread crumbs. Set on a roasting pan, bones arced down and leave out to come up to room temperature.
5.) Preheat oven to 375. Serve appetizers. (We had Prince Edward Island mussels with garlic, white wine, and olive oil.)
6.) Place lamb in oven, roast at 375 until internal temp reads 135 F, about 12-15 minutes.
7.) Before serving, slice in half between the two bones, arranging on the plate so that one crusted and one carved side is up.
I served it with simple steamed asparagus and butter, with a nice Rioja on the side. M cried. A better compliment I couldn't imagine. Well, agreeing to marry me later that night was probably a little better.