Ina Garten’s Dijon- Balsamic Rack of Lamb

Lamb is one of those nostalgic scents for me. I spoke a bit about this when I posted on Basque Lamb Stew. My dearly loved Grandma used to make roasted lamb. She and Grandpa lived on a ranch, which was an amazingly fun place to visit as a kid. After a day of swimming with goldfish in the horse trough, dodging the psychotic rooster, and taking rides with Grandpa around the ranch in his hot pink Jeep… we would open the door to the house and become overwhelmed by the scent of lamb that had been slow-roasting most of the day. It tasted as good as it smelled too. So as a result, lamb has always been a favorite special treat. Last weekend, I treated my family to Ina Garten’s Rack of Lamb.

I’ve made many recipes for rack of lamb. Though it can be on the expensive side, if you’re armed with an instant-read thermometer, it’s an easy meat to prepare and it’s well worth the extra cash. I buy my lamb at Costco- their racks come already ‘frenched’- and I’ve been very happy with the quality.

In Ina’s recipe, you just spoon the quickie-marinade over the top of the rack and let it sit at room temp. for about an hour. Then it’s popped into the oven for a quick roasting. I have one of these great oven thermometers where you can stick the thermometer in the meat but the part that registers the temperature sits outside the oven. It’s an invaluable piece of kitchen equipment for me! If you have one of these, your meat will turn out perfect every time. No guessing needed. No over or under-cooking! You must get one.

The Barefoot Contessa rarely disappoints, and this was no exception. It was unanimous- my family loved this lamb recipe. The flavor was nice, and the meat was tender and perfectly roasted (we roasted it to medium-rare 130 degrees.)

This night, the scent of lamb filled the house and stirred up a few Ranch memories to share during dinner. And hopefully, with all of the cooking that I do, I am creating some nostalgic scents for my own family!

This recipe can be found HERE. For the next week or so I’ll be posting a string of Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) recipes that I’ve been trying.

Leave a Comment

26 Responses to “Ina Garten’s Dijon- Balsamic Rack of Lamb”

  1. 1

    Emily — April 15, 2008 @ 4:49 AM

    Ok so I love your blog,I am a huge Ina fan and have rarely been disapointed, her cookies are not very good but everything else is always a hit at our house! I always make the pork tenderloin with rosemary,cherries and shallots. You should make it next! You won’t be dissapointed!

  2. 2

    Test Kitchen Recipes — April 15, 2008 @ 5:42 AM

    I need to try that. It looks so good.

  3. 3

    Peabody — April 15, 2008 @ 5:47 AM

    So gorgeous. I have only made rack of lamb once at home. Yours makes me want to do it again.

  4. 4

    Peter M — April 15, 2008 @ 10:01 AM

    Lori, I’ve had success w/ Ina’s dishes and I can see you have too!

    You cooked the lamb the way I like it…pink but still cooked!

    Again, I’m holding off on lamb until Greek Easter..then watch out!

  5. 5

    Grace — April 15, 2008 @ 10:12 AM

    i’m convinced that all roosters are psychotic. :)

    thanks for sharing your memories and this recipe–when i come to terms with the fact that it’s okay for me to eat a baby sheep, i promise to give it go.

  6. 6

    marye — April 15, 2008 @ 10:48 AM

    I have bnever attempted this…but wow, that looks fantastic.

  7. 7

    Ann — April 15, 2008 @ 11:05 AM

    Fabulous! Rack of lamb is the ultimate!

  8. 8

    Daziano — April 15, 2008 @ 11:05 AM

    I love the Barefoot Contessa!!! And your lamb looks just luscious!

  9. 9

    ali — April 15, 2008 @ 1:33 PM

    Perfectly pink RecipeGirl. My Greek mother would be so proud.

    Looks wonderful!


  10. 10

    Mike of Mike's Table — April 15, 2008 @ 6:22 PM

    That lamb looks spectacular, as do the photos! Very nicely done–it sounds like it would taste incredible

  11. 11

    Elle — April 15, 2008 @ 7:22 PM

    I loved your story of the farm! What great memories. I love Ina’s recipes and this one seems to be as wonderful as any of them. I’m not a huge fan of lamb, but that looks like it could persuade me!

  12. 12

    We Are Never Full — April 15, 2008 @ 7:42 PM

    ok, ok, i do give ina garten s*it often b/c she annoys me, but when it comes to simple food made with herbs, she knows what she’s doing. this really looks lovely and i think that the balsamic probably adds a wonderfully sweet flavor. i got to your blog thru another one i was reading on rack of lamb – it’s making me jealous b/c i love it and can’t really afford to buy rack of lamb. it’s soooo tasty, though.

    great pictures!!

    amy @ we are never full

  13. 13

    Melanie — April 15, 2008 @ 8:16 PM

    I’ve never been brave enough to try rack of lamb but this looks delicious! Your family is lucky to have a great chef as a mom…I’m sure most other families around the block aren’t eating rack of lamb for dinner!

  14. 14

    noble pig — April 15, 2008 @ 10:27 PM

    This is so elegant looking and I know it’s good. All of Ina’s recipe’s are. My fav is her chicken piccata, to die for.

  15. 15

    Jenny — April 15, 2008 @ 11:09 PM

    Mmmmm, this looks terrific. Ina is definitely a favorite of mine. Beautiful too.

  16. 16

    LyB — April 16, 2008 @ 12:23 AM

    I’ve never tried rack of lamb, but it looks spectacular!

  17. 17

    Sara<3 — April 16, 2008 @ 2:38 AM

    I love Ina Garten, AND I love lamb so this must be a killer conversation.

  18. 18

    Egghead — April 16, 2008 @ 5:07 AM

    I have always had good luck with Ina’s recipes but have never tried this. In fact I have been wary of cooking lamb because I didn’t really know much about cooking it. But this looks like something I will try out. Love the photos.

  19. 19

    Emiline — April 16, 2008 @ 5:52 AM

    Your lamb looks perfect…perfectly cooked.
    I’ve made a few Ina recipes and have always been very happy with them.

  20. 20

    HoneyB — April 16, 2008 @ 9:58 AM

    As a child I couldn’t eat lamb – but as an adult I gave it a chance and I love it! I love the things that make us remember the happy memories!

    Your story about the psycho rooster took me back to my childhood! We had a rooster I called bully – because when we would go into the hen house he was ready to attack to make us leave. I really hated going in the hen house!

  21. 21

    Mary Coleman — April 16, 2008 @ 12:51 PM

    Those racks of lamb at Costco are the best, aren’t they! Beautiful pics, Lori. We’d rather eat lamb than any kind of red meat.

  22. 22

    Deborah — April 16, 2008 @ 9:15 PM

    I have never made lamb before, but I just found somewhere that sells it here. I’ve never been able to find it at Costco – I should check again! This recipe sounds like a winner!

  23. 23

    StickyGooeyCreamyChewy — April 17, 2008 @ 1:48 AM

    This has been on my “to do” list forever. I love lamb, but I never seem to find nice racks at the store. I’ve got to try harder. It looks wonderful!

  24. 24

    Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) — April 17, 2008 @ 3:36 AM

    I used to watch Barefoot Contessa, but the show is no longer available on our BBC Food.
    The thermometer is a great idea, I should get one, because your lamb looks spot on.

  25. 25

    Gina — April 17, 2008 @ 6:01 PM

    This looks amazing! I love Ina Garten!

  26. 26

    Tartelette — April 18, 2008 @ 3:19 AM

    I love lamb…never met eat I did not like :)
    This recipe is wonderful!