Planning on hosting a fancy dinner soon? Well, if you’re looking for a centerpiece fit for a king, look no further. This Crown Roast Rack of Lamb is definitely something you’d want on your table and is an inexpensive solution for one impressive dish. One of my favorite lamb recipes, the crown rack is coated with a simple herb marinade, smoked to perfection, and then finished off with a fiery sear. The best of all? This smokey showstopper will cost you less than $40!
What is Crown Roast Rack of Lamb?
There are many fancy ways to present a lamb rack, but the crown is probably the most elegant and the most impressive! You create a lamb crown by tying the two racks together, each having about eight rib bones. Once cooked, the crown roast is usually propped on a bed of grains (like couscous or rice) before the twine is removed. Of course I like to “keep it keto”, so I usually serve mine with green veggies. Finally, you carve it into chops by slicing it between the rib bones with a sharp carving knife.
Why Should You Use Frenched Lamb Racks
To make the Crown Rack of Lamb, you need Frenched lamb racks. I buy them already frenched, but if you buy them in the store and they aren’t already frenched, you will need to do this before you start with the preparation.
Frenching the lamb racks simply means you remove excess fat and meat from the rib bones to expose them. This is great for presentation! Simply trim and discard the excess meat and fat, exposing about 2 inches of bone. Use a sharp knife to scrape the bones until they’re completely clean. Of course, if this looks like too much work for you, you can always ask your butcher to do it for you!
Smoked Crown Roast Rack of Lamb
- 2 Racks of Lamb
- 2 tbsp Fresh Rosemary Chopped
- 0.25 cup Fresh Thyme Chopped
- ¼ cup Mint Leaves Chopped
- 3 tbsp Avocado Oil
- Preheat your smoker to 250°F, using a combination of hardwood lump charcoal and chunks of pecan wood (apple also works really well if you don't have pecan)
- Prepare the lamb racks by removing the silver skin first. This is the tough membrane that covers the meat. Unlike fat, the silver skin does not render away, and will leave the meat tough and chewy—definitely not something you’d want for your guests! Luckily, removing it is pretty easy! Simply insert a sharp paring knife underneath the silver skin, and slide it along, staying as close to the meat as possible. Just make sure to leave the fat, as it will render while cooking. Remember FAT IS TASTE! So we don’t want to remove any of the fat, just the tough, chewy silver skin. Don’t remove the membrane at the back, this is necessary to keep the meat ‘together’, forming a crown.
- Place the lamb racks on a baking tray fitted with a wire grid. Start by seasoning the lamb racks generally with salt. Usually, the salt is added directly onto the meat, and not in the spice rub or marinade. This allows the salt to draw into the meat and pull out any excess moisture. Set aside while you prepare the marinade.
- Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalk and chop together with thyme and mint.
- Place the herbs in a small bowl, add avocado oil, and mix through. For this recipe, avocado oil is a better option than olive oil. It has a higher smoking point, and since the lamb will be seared after smoking, it’s definitely the better option!
- Cover the lamb racks with the herb marinade and then transfer them to the refrigerator to marinate for an hour.
- Once the lamb racks are done marinating, turn them over and place them on a cutting board. Make small slits (about ¼-inch) between the bones. This will allow the lamb rack to bend to create the crown. The racks would otherwise be too rigid to bend and shape into a crown.
- Now it’s time to assemble! Place the lamb racks next to each other, meat sides facing up. Use baker’s twine and tie the two inner rib bones together.
- Place the lamb racks in the upright position, with the meat sides now facing inward. Take the twine through the center, and use it to tie the opposite ends. Do this by wrapping the twine a few times around the two outer rib bones.
- Now wrap the baker’s twine around the base of the lamb racks, making sure it stays under the bone. Tighten the twine, while moving the opposite ends together, so that it forms the crown. To make sure it’s tight, you can wrap the twine a few times around the base and through the middle. It’s now time for these lamb racks to meat the grill!
- Place the lamb rack in the middle of the grill. Place the temperature probe in the thickest part of the meat. Close the lid and smoke for about 45 min to 1 hour. This should be enough time for the meat to reach 120°F. Once it reaches this temperature, remove the rack from the smoker, cover it with aluminum foil and leave to rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, preventing it from drying out.
- Once rested, move the lamb rack back to the grill, this time placing it on its side so that the biggest part of the meat is exposed. Use a torch-like the Su-VGun to sear the meat on all sides.
- Present your crown whole and carve into single or double-chops at the table – your guests are sure to be impressed!