Roast Rack of Lamb-Potato Traybake is a super-easy, delicious holiday meal for 2, but easily scalable to as many as 8. It also makes a great Date Night or Valentine’s Day dinner.
Today is the Winter Solstice. The whole shortest day of the year thing kind of bums me out. But then, I tell myself that the days just get longer from here on out. Now if I can just fast-forward to April…
But I AM excited for Christmas this coming week. Phil and I just learned that we’ll be on our own that night. So, we’re planning a romantic dinner followed by our favorite Christmas movies. Since we both are huge fans of lamb, we decided on Roast Rack of Lamb-Potato Traybake. It’s just about the easiest fancy dinner ever.
How to make rack of lamb and potatoes
How many people will a rack of lamb serve?
A large rack of lamb will have in the neighborhood of 8 ribs. This would make a large serving for 2 people (4 ribs each), or a small serving for 4 people. If you’re serving 8, I’d suggest roasting two racks and serving with the potatoes and an additional side dish like Green Beans with Bacon and Onions or Arugula-Shaved-Fennel Salad.
What rub should I use for rack of lamb?
For my Roast Rack of Lamb-Potato Traybake, I like to use a gremolata-inspired rub. It’s finely minced fresh rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest mixed with extra virgin olive oil. I also add freshly ground black pepper and kosher (or other coarse) salt. I like to score the lamb rack (making criss-cross, shallow cuts into the fat cap, just barely scratching into the meat) and rub the mixture into the cuts.
What kind of potatoes are good for roasting?
I like to use baby red potatoes. I cut them into quarters, toss them with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and either minced fresh rosemary or mixed dried herbs. One and a half pound of baby potatoes makes enough for 4 servings.
Roasting the rack of lamb and potatoes
Roast rack of lamb is usually served medium-rare. So, a quick blast in a hot oven is all it takes. I usually heat the oven to 425º while I prep the potatoes. Next, I roast the potatoes on a sheet pan for 10 minutes while I prep the rub and lamb racks. I insert the probe of a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the lamb rack (avoiding the bone). Then, I give the potatoes a stir and move them to the side to make room for the lamb rack, which I set bone-side down on the center of the sheet pan.
I roast the potatoes and lamb until the digital thermometer reads 130º. Then I remove the lamb and cover with foil for at least 10 minutes before slicing into individual chops. If needed, I continue roasting the potatoes until they’re crispy and cooked through.
That’s it! An easy, yet impressive meal.
Scaling Roast Rack of Lamb-Potato Traybake up for a group of 8
All you have to do in this instance is double everything. So, 3 pounds of potatoes and 2 lamb racks (with double the amount of the rub mixture and olive oil/herbs/salt/pepper for the potatoes). I’d suggest preparing 2 sheet pans, each with 1 lamb rack and half of the potatoes. Halfway through the roast, rotate the sheet pans, moving the top pan to the bottom rack.
I hope you enjoy this Roast Rack of Lamb-Potato Traybake as much as we do.
Looking for more ideas for your holiday dinner? Check out my Herbed Roast Duck, Date Night Prime Rib (easily scalable for a larger group), or Herb-Roasted Rack of Pork. If you’re planning a holiday dinner for a crowd, check out my Work-Ahead Holiday Dinner Meal Plan, with a shopping list and game plan for delivering a classic turkey dinner with all the fixings!
Roast Rack of Lamb-Potato Traybake
FOR THE RACK OF LAMB
- 2 lb rack of lamb - Frenched (See Recipe Notes #1 and #2)
- 3 tbsp fresh rosemary - needles only, finely minced
- 3 garlic cloves - finely minced
- zest of one lemon - (zest with a microplane: avoid the white part underneath)
- 1/4 cup olive oil - extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper - freshly ground
FOR THE POTATOES
- 1.5 lb baby red potatoes - rinsed and quartered
- 1/4 cup olive oil - extra virgin
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary - finely minced (or use your favorite dried herb mix)
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt - (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper - freshly ground (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Toss the quartered baby potatoes with the olive oil, chopped rosemary (or mixed dried herbs), salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the potato quarters in a single layer on a large sheet pan; place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lamb rack and rub. Mix the rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, salt pepper, and olive oil; set aside. Score the lamb rack by making shallow, criss-cross cuts into the fat cap and meat. Rub the gremolata mixture into the cuts, into the Frenched areas around each bone, and all over the meat.
- Stir the potatoes and move to the sides. Insert the probe of a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (avoid the bones) and set the lamb rack, bone-side down, on the center of the tray. Roast until the digital thermometer registers 130ºF, then remove and tent with foil for at least 10 minutes.
- If necessary, continue roasting the potatoes until cooked through and crispy. Slice the lamb rack into chops and serve with the roast potatoes.
- To serve up to 8 people, double this recipe and prepare 2 sheet pans, each with one of the lamb racks and half of the potatoes.
- "Frenched" means cutting the meat, fat, and any membranes away from the sides of the bones on each chop. If you purchase a pre-packaged rack of lamb, this is often already done. You can also ask your butcher to do this for you. Alternatively, watch this video to learn how to French the rack of lamb yourself.