Rack of Lamb with Mustard-Shallot Sauce


The secret to a perfectly cooked rack of lamb: Sear it in a skillet, transfer the pan to the oven to cook through, and make a quick pan sauce.

Overhead view of pan-roasted rack of lamb served on a white platter, with two chops carved off and laid beside it. The platter is flanked by several ramekins, one of which contains the mustard-shallot pan sauce.

Kate Mathis

Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

If you are planning a celebratory, intimate dinner for two, it's hard to beat pan-roasting a rack of lamb and serving it with an assertive pan sauce. Cooking the rack just right requires a few tricks, but once you get a handle on this technique, the process couldn't be easier. Simply season the lamb, brown it thoroughly on both sides over high heat in a skillet, then move the pan to a preheated oven so that the lamb cooks through evenly. A rich, piquant pan sauce made with whole grain and Dijon mustard takes full advantage of the meaty browned bits (or fond) created by pan-searing the lamb roast.


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) rack of lamb, frenched

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Add the lamb to the skillet, fat side down, and cook over moderately high heat until richly browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the lamb fat side up and cook for 2 minutes longer.

  2. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the rack for about 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 125°F for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

  3. Discard the fat in the skillet. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and the shallots to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the whole grain and Dijon mustards and the thyme. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

  4. Carve the lamb into chops and arrange on warmed plates. Spoon the sauce over the lamb and serve.

Suggested pairing

When pairing wine with meat, always consider the flavors that are in the sauce. A Tuscan Sangiovese has the earthiness, dried-fruit notes, and juiciness to go with this pan sauce.

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