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A juicy crown roast of lamb recipe for the holidays

This show-stopping roast of lamb recipe from Hearth & Home will wow anyone lucky enough to gather around your table this holiday season.

A juicy crown roast of lamb recipe from Lynn Crawford and Lora Kirk

Serves 4

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour

Whether you're looking to replace the tired turkey dinner during the holidays or want a stunning centrepiece for your dinner party at any time of year, this crown roast of lamb recipe is sure to steal the show. Briny olives, umami-packed sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and garlic all come together in a flavourful and bold marinade that pairs perfectly with this festive and delicious cut of lamb. Meanwhile, the beautiful presentation of this crown roast of lamb recipe will draw guests in. Just pair it with a great wine from LCBO and voilà.

This crown roast of lamb recipe comes to us from Lynn Crawford and Lora Kirk's new cookbook, Hearth & Home. Bestselling author, cook and former judge on Top Chef Canada, Lynn Crawford is one of our hosting heroes. In addition to being one of Canada's most recognizable culinary exports, Crawford is back with another cookbook filled with over 140 delicious and comforting recipes perfect for both weeknight cooking and celebrations.

For Hearth & Home, she's teamed up with another homegrown legend: her wife, Lora Kirk. The chef, restaurateur and food activist has worked with legendary chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Angela Hartnett, and was the chef and co-owner of the now-closed Ruby Watchco alongside Crawford for over a decade. In the couple's first cookbook, Crawford and Kirk share their favourite family-style recipes and get us in the mood for festive feasts like this crown roast of lamb recipe.

Crawford and Kirk have taken all the guesswork out of your holiday function or dinner party. Now all that's left to do is brush up on your etiquette skills and find a stellar dessert recipe to cap off the night. 

Ingredients

Clarified butter

  • ½ lb unsalted butter, cubed

Hollandaise sauce

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup warm clarified butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 dash Tabasco
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Crown roast of lamb

  • 2 lamb racks (1 ½ to 2 lb each; 6 to 8 ribs per rack), trimmed and frenched
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • Olive oil
  • 1 batch cooked Moroccan couscous

Method

Clarified butter

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. As the butter approaches a boil, an even layer of white milk proteins will float to the surface. When the butter boils, the milk proteins will become foamy.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to gently boil; the milk proteins will break apart and eventually sink to the bottom, and the boiling will begin to calm and then cease.
  3. Once the boiling has stopped, pour the butter through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a heatproof container. Discard the milk solids.
  4. Let cool, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Hollandaise sauce

  1. Place the egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk over a saucepan of simmering water until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and, while whisking, slowly add the clarified butter until emulsified.
  3. Season with lemon juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Crown roast of lamb

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Season the lamb all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Lay the racks of lamb in front of you horizontally, bone side up and with the frenched bones facing away from you. Make shallow ¼-inch-deep cuts through the meat between each bone.
  4. Stand the racks of lamb up, with the meatiest portion of the meat facing inward, and shape the two racks into a circle. The frenched bones should curve outward to create the look of a crown. Using butcher’s twine, tie once midway up the frenched bones and again below the bones in the meaty portion.
  5. In a food processor, combine the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest, mustard, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Pulse until finely chopped. While pulsing, add just enough olive oil to form a thick paste. Season the paste with salt and pepper.
  6. Coat the racks of lamb all over with the marinade paste and set the lamb in a small round baking pan. Cover the frenched bones loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil to prevent them from burning.
  7. Place the pan in the oven and roast until the thickest part of the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130 to 135 F, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Transfer the lamb to a serving platter and let rest for approximately 10 minutes.
  9. When ready to serve, remove the foil from the lamb and cut the string away from the roast. Fill the centre of the crown with the Moroccan couscous. Serve with the hollandaise sauce on the side.
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