Herb Roasted Lamb with Smoky Glazed Vegetables

Photo by Kelly Yandell

by André Natera,
Executive Chef Village Marquee Texas Grill & Bar

Chef André Natera coddles local lamb in a bouquet of herbal aromatics while roasting. Th e meat is served alongside glazed spring vegetables with a drizzle of robust red wine sauce. “Spring is the best time for lamb, morel mushrooms and asparagus,” says Natera, “and this dish captures the essence of that.” He also taps Texas Olive Ranch, Texas’ fi rst native olive oil producer. Their mesquite-infused variety leaves the vegetables with a hint of smoky sweetness. Clinton Hodges from Sterling Lamb provided the lamb used for our photos. Look for Sterling’s meats on the menus at Bolsa and FT33 in Dallas and at Th e Love Shack in Fort Worth.

Serves 4

For the Lamb

2 whole lamb racks, cleaned
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
6 sage leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

For the Sauce

2 tablespoons Texas Olive Ranch Olive Oil
½ carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 medium shallot, sliced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups lamb or beef stock
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

To make the lamb

Remove the lamb from the refrigerator approximately 30 minutes prior to cooking. Season with salt and pepper on all sides and sprinkle with the chopped herbs.

Place a large skillet (about 13”) on the stovetop and pour in olive oil. Heat oil over medium high heat until it shimmers and is almost smoking.

Place lamb in skillet and sear on all sides, turning slowly to ensure that it has a nice golden sear. Reduce the heat to medium and add butter. (Make sure it doesn’t burn while melting). Use a large spoon and baste the lamb gently with the melted butter.

Cook the lamb to an internal temperature of 125-130°F (approximately 10 minutes).

Remove the lamb, place on a cool plate and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Once it has rested, slice the lamb between the bones and serve an equal portion on 4 plates with the Smoky Glazed Vegetables. To make he sauce (see note):

Choose a pot or pan large enough to hold all the ingredients spread evenly and not crowded. Place the pot on the stove over high heat and heat the olive oil to just below the smoking point. Add the diced carrots, celery, onions to the pot and brown slightly. Then add the garlic and shallots and cook for another minute. Be careful not to burn the vegetables. You want them to be a light golden brown.

Once the vegetables have browned, add the herbs and red wine and reduce slowly over a lower heat until reduced to about ¼ cup. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and reduce to ¾ cup.

Remove the pan from the heat and pass the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer, then adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Drizzle the sauce over the lamb and vegetables or divide it among the serving plates before plating.

Note: Begin the sauce before you begin the lamb. It takes awhile for the liquids to reduce. For timing purposes, it is best to cook the lamb while the sauce is simmering.

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André Natera is the Executive Chef Village Marquee Texas Grill & Bar.