Rack Of Lamb With Spicy Fennel Rub



  • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chili pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns (black or multi-colored)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (divided in two)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 rack of lamb
  • 10 ribs


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat for one minute, then toss if fennel seeds, cumin seeds and whole chili pepper. Toast until fragrant, about two minutes, agitating every 15 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Put toasted spices into a spice grinder, then add cardamom, peppercorns and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Pulse until you have a fine powder, about 30 seconds.
  3. Pour ground spices into a small bowl and add heavy cream. Mix until you have a paste. Set aside.
  4. Make sure your rack is trimmed of all fat and split it in half so that you have equal ribs in each half. Rub all over with olive oil, then finish up with a rub of the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  6. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and sear all sides of the rack, about two minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set in a 9×9 pan. Let sit until cool enough to touch.
  7. Stir the spice paste, which will have thickened up a bit. It should be a spreadable consistency – if it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of heavy cream.
  8. Spread the spice paste over the meaty parts of the rack and into the cuts between the cutlets. Arrange the racks so that the ribs intertwine, forming an arc like the image above.
  9. Place pan into oven and roast until internal temperature of the roast is 130°F, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Slice ribs apart and serve.
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