Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb from Blue Bayou Restaurant

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb - Blue Bayou Restaurant - Disneyland

Let’s face it. If there’s a Disneyland restaurant most people want to experience at some time in their life; it’s the Blue Bayou Restaurant. Every time your boat begins its journey through the Pirates of the Caribbean, you sail past a bevy of guests enjoying a fine meal right there in the bayou. You want to be right there with them! The ambience is wonderful and the menu is one of the best in the Happiest Place on Earth. It, also, just so happens that one of the best items on that menu, is the Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb.

Today, we’re going to show you how you can have it right in your own home.

Just a warning, right up front about this recipe

It’s a bit complicated. Mostly because of the steps required for the cassoulet. Heck, the Blue Bayou doesn’t even serve it as part of this dish, anymore. However, I’m going to go ahead and make this recipe “old school” style. Just in case you want to attempt it, as well.

Rack of Lamb - Ingredients
The Ingredients We Will Be Using Today For Our Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb

The Ingredients

Unlike our last recipe for Morimoto Asia’s Hoisin Sticky Spare Ribs, this Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe has a fairly lengthy list of ingredients. It also will take a decent amount of prep time that includes several steps. So be prepared for that.

The good news is, once you’ve put in the time for the prep work, the final plate doesn’t take that long to put together. So, you can do much of this dish in advance and finish it relatively quickly as meal time approaches.

Let’s get to work!

Untrimmed Lamb Rack
Our Rack Of Lamb Prior To Trimming

Trimming (aka Frenching) The Rack Of Lamb

Most lamb racks you can buy these days come pre-trimmed or “frenched” to some extent. As you can see from the picture above, even though this rack was listed as “frenched”, there was still a lot of work to do on it. I’m not going to go into all the steps that it takes to accomplish that here. However, if you want to know how to get your rack looking as clean as possible, check out my tutorial here.

  • Pro Tip: The one tip I will share with in this recipe that will help keep your rack of lamb looking as elegant as possible is to wrap the exposed bones in foil prior to cooking. This will help prevent the burning of any leftover tissue still on the bones; ensuring you won’t have a bunch of ugly charred bits on your lamb chops.
Simmering Cassoulet - Blue Bayou - Disneyland
Simmering Cassoulet For Our Herb-Crusted Rack Of Lamb

White Bean Cassoulet

I’m listing this part of the recipe at the beginning because:

  1. It’s the most complicated part of the dish. As a matter of fact, the Blue Bayou Restaurant no longer serves this dish with the cassoulet. They now use mashed potatoes in its place (psst….I suggest you do the same)
  2. If you’ve gone ahead and decided you’d still want to go “old school” and do the cassoulet (again, I really suggest you do the mashed potatoes), you’ll want to start it the night before you serve this dish.

Okay, you’ve decided to do the cassoulet. Great! Let’s get started.

White Beans

Place the white beans in a large bowl and cover with the water. You’ll want to be sure you have plenty because the beans will absorb the liquid. Soak for at least a few hours; preferably over-night.

When you’re ready to cook the cassoulet, preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the ham hocks on sheet pan and roast until tender; about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool until you can handle comfortably. Trim the meat from the ham hocks and reserve the bones for later.

Heat oil in a large pot and sweat the onion until slightly translucent. Drain the beans and add them along with the ham hock bones, water, and leek sachet. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender; about 25 minutes. Strain the beans and reserve.

Cassoulet

Place the diced bacon and ham hock meat to a large pot and cook until lightly crisped. Then add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, red and yellow peppers. Cook until the vegetables are lightly browned. Next add the drained beans and beef stock. Create a bouquet garni (fancy French term alert!) by tying the thyme and rosemary branches together with the butcher’s twine and add it to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 45 minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid of salt. The proper amount makes all of your dishes taste better. That being said, remember you can always add more but you can’t remove it once it has been added. So, season lightly and taste; season lightly and taste. Continue until you get the flavor you want. Tasting your food, prior to serving, is possibly the most important thing you can do in the kitchen.
Rosemary - Red Wine Reduction - Blue Bayou Restaurant - Disneyland
Simmering Rosemary – Red Wine Reduction

Rosemary – Red Wine Reduction

In a small saucepan, heat the oil then sweat the garlic and shallots until slightly translucent. Next, add the rosemary, peppercorns, bay leaf and wine. Bring the wine mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is reduced by about half (about 15 minutes), add the beef stock and return to a simmer for about another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the liquid through a fine, uh, well, strainer.

  • Make sure you keep the liquid…I hate to admit it but I have, absentmindedly, dumped my sauce down the sink when I stained it like pasta water…yep…true story!

Return the liquid to the pan whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time. Then season to taste with salt & pepper. (I also will add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity) Cool the sauce and refrigerate it until about half an hour before service. Then warm it slowly in a small saucepan.

Toasted Bread Crumbs
Toasted Herbs & Bread Crumbs

Breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375ºF and cover a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Mince the herbs and mix with the Panko bread crumbs. Spread the bread crumbs mixture evenly across the sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake until golden brown. (About 10 – 12 minutes)

  • The recipe from Blue Bayou Restaurant doesn’t call for it but I added a few leaves of minced mint to the bread crumb mixture and a few whole leaves to the red wine reduction. I love the combination of mint with lamb and this is a great way to give it a hint of that without overpowering the dish. (Or using that weird mint jelly)
Lamb Rack Searing
Sear The Rack Of Lamb In An Oven Safe Pan

The Lamb

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Season the meat of the rack of lamb liberally with salt and pepper. In an oven safe pan, heat oil. Place the lamb in the hot pan with the meat side on the heat. (As you can see in the picture above, I divided the rack into 2 parts to fit in the pan easier and allow for better searing) Cook the lamb in the pan until you get a good sear on all sides. Then transfer the pan to the preheated oven.

Cook the lamb to your desired temperature. (120ºF for medium rare; 130ºF for medium; 145ºF for well done)

  • I find about 20 minutes is usually about perfect for medium rare depending on the size or your rack of lamb.

Then remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes.

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb - Blue Bayou Restaurant - Disneyland
My Plated Herb-Crusted Rack Of Lamb With White Bean Cassoulet and Rosemary-Red Wine Reduction

Plating

Use a slotted spoon to serve the completed Cassoulet into a shallow bowl. Slice the lamb rack into 2 – two bone portions. Brush each lamb portion with the mustard and coat with the bread crumb mixture. Place two lamb portions per plate atop the beans with the ribs interlaced. Drizzle the Rosemary-Red Wine Reduction around the edges of the bowl and crumble the feta cheese over the dish. If you can find them, top the plate with a small amount of micro greens. (These aren’t in every store so you may not be able to track them down. In that case, a couple of chives will work just fine as a garnish)

The Final Result

This dish is phenomenal! The meatiness (and slight gaminess) of the lamb plays well against the mustard, herbs and red wine sauce. Meanwhile the beans bring an extra heartiness to the plate that grounds the dish in an almost “homey” way. This is a plate of food I can eat over and over again.

As I stated before, I prefer a mashed or whipped potato in this dish. It’s simpler and less prep intensive than the Cassoulet. That being said, if you want to take the time and the extra steps it takes to create the bean dish, it’s well worth it.

I’ll be making this Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe with both possible sides many times in the future. Heck, you may even hear me humming a few bars of Yo Ho! (A Pirates Life For Me) while I’m doing it, just because this Disney Dish brings me right back to dining at one of my favorite Disney restaurants and attractions.

If you have any questions about the Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb recipe, or anything else for that matter, please let me know. You can send them to me right in the comments or email me here.

Thanks for reading! Have a Magical Day!

 

Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb
Serves 4

White Beans for Cassoulet
  • 3 cups – Dried White Beans (Cannellini or Great Northern)
  • 1 lb – Ham Hocks
  • Leek – Cleaned and Trimmed
  • Bay Leaf
  • 6 sprigs –  Fresh Thyme
  • 4 – Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 5 cups – Water
  • 1/2 – Large Yellow Onion – Quartered
  • 3 – Garlic Cloves – Sliced
White Bean Cassoulet
  • 1/4 cup – Olive Oil
  • 3 – Garlic Cloves – Minced
  • Carrot – Diced
  • 1 1/2 – Celery Stalks – Diced
  • Small Yellow Onion – Diced
  • Red Bell Pepper –  Diced
  • Yellow Bell Pepper –  Diced
  • 3 cups – Prepared White Beans (see recipe above)
  • 6 – Bacon Slices – Diced
  • Cooked Ham Hock Meat
  • 4 cups – Beef Stock
  • 1 – Bouquet Garni (3 Stems Fresh Rosemary & 5 sprigs Fresh Thyme tied together with Butcher’s Twine)
  • Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper – To Taste
Rosemary – Red Wine Reduction
  • 1/4 cup  – Olive Oil
  • 2 – Garlic Cloves – Crushed
  • 1/4 cup  – Shallots – Diced
  • 1/4 cup – Fresh Rosemary Leaves
  • 1 tbls – Whole Black Peppercorns
  • Bay Leaf
  • 1 cup – Cabernet Sauvignon (or other dry red wine)
  • 1 cup – Beef Stock
  • 2 tbls – Unslated Butter
  •  Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper – To Taste
Bread Crumbs
  • 3/4 cup – Panko Style Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tbls – Fresh Rosemary – Minced
  • 3 tbls – Fresh Parsley – Minced
  • 3 – Garlic Cloves – Minced
Lamb Racks
  • 2 – Lamb Racks
  • Kosher or Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tbls – Olive Oil
  • 4 tbls – Dijon Mustard
  • 8 tbls – Prepared Panko Bread Crumbs (see recipe above)
  • 8 tbls –  Feta Cheese – Crumbled
  • Rosemary – Red Wine Reduction – For Serving (see recipe above)
  • Micro Greens – For Garnish (Optional)
For White Beans
  • Rinse beans, place in large bowl, cover with water and soak for several hours or overnight.
  • When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400°F. Place ham hocks on sheet tray or pan. Roast until tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Slice meat off bone and finely chop for later use in cassoulet. Reserve bones.
  • Wrap leek, bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns in cheesecloth to make the sachet.
  • Place drained beans, water, onions, garlic, leek sachet, and ham hock bones in large pot. Add more water if necessary to cover all ingredients.
  • Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until beans are tender (about 25 minutes).
  • Strain beans through a fine strainer and set aside, reserving broth. Discard bones and cheesecloth with ingredients.
For Cassoulet
  • Cook bacon and ham hock meat in a large pot until slightly crispy. (about 5 minutes)
  • Add garlic, carrot, celery, onion, red and yellow peppers, and beans, stirring frequently. Cook until vegetables are lightly browned.
  • Add beef stock and herb bouquet garni and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook about 45 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Rosemary – Red Wine Reduction
  • Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots and sweat until slightly translucent. Then add rosemary, peppercorns, bay leaf, and wine.
  • Cook until reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add beef stock and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through fine strainer.
  • Return liquid to pan. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time over low heat, whisking well. Season to taste.
  • Allow to cool completely then place in an air-tight container and refrigerate several hours.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, reheat over low heat.
For Herb Bread Crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Transfer crumbs to sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning.
  3. Remove from oven and cool. Place in air-tight container until ready to serve.
For Lamb Racks
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Cut each rack in half.
  2. Pour olive oil into large oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place lamb fat-side down in sauté pan and sear all sides until caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Transfer lamb to oven and cook until desired temperature (About 120°F for medium rare, 130ºF for medium & 145º for well done)
  4. Remove lamb from oven, cover immediately with foil, and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
Plating
  1. Slice each half rack into 2, 2-rib pieces. Serve by, spooning 1/2 cup White Bean Cassoulet in bottom of each serving bowl. Drizzle Rosemary – Red Wine Reduction around beans. Brush mustard on fat side of lamb, press into bread crumbs and place 2 pieces of lamb on top of each serving of beans, one slightly crossing over the other. Repeat with remaining bowls.
  2. Sprinkle feta cheese on lamb and top with pinch of micro greens, if desired. Serve immediately.

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