Barbecued Rack of Lamb with Balsamic, Thyme and Garlic – Licensed to thrill!

Barbecue Rack of Lamb (9 of 9)It seems that my “Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients” series is gaining some traction. I was happily cooking, writing and posting about the fantastic foods we are so blessed to enjoy in Ireland. Happy, that is, until I got the call from the Section for Magnificent Dining Experiences. Yes, such a Section really exists.  It is housed in a secure area in a sub basement below the Department of Agriculture. Secret access is through warren-like passages hidden behind a false freezer door in the kitchens of a well-known Molesworth Street hotel. The secrecy is vital, I am told, to protect the Section from the now regular attacks by disgruntled farmers who, depending upon market pricing and rainfall levels, overrun the Agriculture offices with sheep, cattle or pigs.

I was summoned to appear before “L”, Head of Section to hear of a looming crisis. “L” briefed me in her oak panelled office deep below the Department of Agriculture. It would appear that my various lamb posts have helped cause a spike in world demand for Irish leg of lamb. (For those interested, there is a list at the bottom of the post.). This has had the unforeseen consequence of a fall off in the desirability of other lamb cuts and the demand for rack of lamb to collapse. The implications, could be catastrophic for global Irish food exports. Through a cloud of acrid tobacco smoke, “L” pointed the well chewed stem of her pipe in my direction and ordered me to do something to recover the situation.

Stopping only briefly to retrieve my hat from the floor under the coat rack (my Bond impersonation had failed, as it usually does), I left Section, determined to do what I could to restore market balance. Anxious not to be recognised, I left by a side entrance and worked my way around a group of angry farmers, unloading sheep.

Whatever I did had to be easy, quick and delicious. I had been issued with a Webber Q2000 (barbecue) and a License to Thrill. It was time to deploy Barbecued Rack of Lamb with Balsamic, Thyme and Garlic. As this is an emergency, we are dispensing with the ingredients list. It’s all in the photo:

Rack of lamb, garlic, thyme, balsamic and black pepper. For your eyes only.

Rack of lamb, garlic, thyme, balsamic and black pepper. For your eyes only.

Given that I am also licensed to use sharp implements in the kitchen, I cut a nice diamond pattern in the fat and about a millimetre into the meat of this delicious joint.

Diamonds are forever, or so I hear. In this case, they let the flavours into the meat.

Diamonds are forever, or so I hear. In this case, they let the flavours into the meat.

Next I chopped the garlic into nice small pieces.

Slice the garlic nice and small.

Slice the garlic nice and small. The second of a few odd jobs.

I gave the thyme a rough going over with the knife too.

Chop the living daylights out of the thyme.

Chop the living daylights out of the thyme.

I added the thyme, garlic and some black pepper to a plastic freezer bag. Then I added a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

Dye another day. Don't splash the balsamic on the white shirt!

Don’t splash the balsamic on your white tee-shirt! Dye another day is my message.

Then I added the lamb rack to the plastic bag and gave it a good shake to cover with the marinade ingredients.

Shaken, not stirred. The rack ready for the fridge.

Shaken, not stirred. The rack ready for the fridge.

I let this marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours before placing it on the pre-heated barbecue.

On the rack and the heat about to be turned up.

On the rack and feeling the heat.

I inserted the probe from my now trusty meat thermometer and set the temperature to 55º C. I closed the lid and watched the clock tick away (Very much like Bond did, while strapped to a nuclear device, in Goldfinger).

They alway threaten to insert a probe. This time, I did it!

They alway threaten to insert a probe. This time, I did it!

At the desired temperature (on the rare end of medium rare), I removed the lamb and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with finest Irish potatoes and a cool salad.

A healthy dinner that will ensure markets are restored. Definitely licensed to thrill.

A healthy dinner that will ensure markets are restored. Definitely licensed to thrill.

Will this simple and delicious Irish lamb recipe help restore market balance? I hope so. I hope I have delivered a quantum of solace to the world lamb market. I hope you will try it and share it with your friends, it’s not for your eyes only.

The legs of lamb that caused the crisis:

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Latest comments
  • From Ireland With Love. Made me laugh out loud. This one’s a classic. Was that the Director’s Cut I saw on the final plate?

  • From Eire with Love, then? You definitely have the Goldfinger touch, and at least no-one can say that The Lamb is not Enough. Anyway, Nobody Does It Better than you, so keep up the good work.

  • LOL! Nice rack, Conor. Wicked collection of puns and 007 references. Excellent use of the thermometer, too.

    • Thanks Stefan, I have really grown to like using it since you gave it to me. I do need to get used to letting the meat come up to temperature after turning off the heat. A great invention.

  • Made me laugh into my morning cuppa! Excellent!

  • You may have just created the perfect combo; BBQ lamb, James Bond and sack full of puns. It’s the ideal boys weekend (but I wouldn’t let the Doctor kNOw). Those thermometers are good too and stop you cooking the Living Daylights out of it. Well, you only live …. oh stop it!

    Lovely, and witty, post Conor. Amusing and no doubt tasty. I feel you and your followers have bonded. And if “L” thinks you shouldn’t cook leg of lamb again you could say you’ll try your best, but you can Never Say Never Again.

    • Thanks Adam, I really am regretting starting this punfest.

  • Now that we know the secret, are you going to have to kill us?

  • That’s it! I’m coming over! I love lamb and I like it even more cold the next day 😉 Nice post C!

    • Sadly, there is never any left over. You are welcome any time!

      • Of course there wouldn’t be 😉

  • OMG that looks so fantastic. You keep tempting me with the wonderful Irish lamb. Why are you so funny, btw? Diamonds are forever…lol!

  • Very bloody nice indeed my friend! And funny. Nice and funny!

  • Surely A View to Kill 🙂 ! LOVE the story and the references and the lamb [can one marinate longer or will the balsamic begin to ‘cook’ the meat?] . . . . Just how come L [still female I see?] smokes cigars . . . the female M does not . . . or is my memory on the blink ?

  • Nice rack, Conor, and (as always) the tongue in cheek humor. Nice flavor profile, too. Love the garlic and curious as to the type. Is it Elephant Garlic?

  • Great read and some good belly laugh humor to start the day. Your grilled rack of lamb looks amazing. What time is dinner?

    • Thanks BAM, let us know when you are calling and dinner will be ready.

  • Fortunately I am stone cold sober and cannot think of any witty Bond-related quips. But you do know your way round a lamb joint that’s for sure. In fact I’d say nobody does it better.

    Actually it looks like your Webber would warm up some coldfingers on a chilly day.

    Shall I stop? Yes I will stop.

  • A lovely rack indeed. Do you do your own frenching? I’m terribly lazy with that. This recipe will inspire me to use something besides parsley or rosemary! Cheers-

    • I flip and flop on the frenching. I prefer for the butcher to do it but I get pretty picky about it if it isn’t right. Then I take out the paring knife and waste an hour of my life getting it ‘just the way I want it’. I am an idiot sometimes.

  • Thanks for the giggles and stopping the lamb crisis! 😉

  • I always enjoy your Irish humor and your recipes for Irish lamb. I like grilling lamb but have never thought to do a rack before. I’ll have to try this to help out the world lamb market. 🙂

    • Thanks Karen, I need all the help with “L” that I can get.

  • Wow! This looks delicious!! *dribble*

    • Thanks indeed. It was very simple to prepare and delicious.

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