Rack of lamb is an expensive but elegant cut, ideal for entertaining. It can be sliced into cutlets for presentation or cut into 3-bone portions. This is the classic way of preparing a rack of lamb. A French-style rack is trimmed still further for a more attractive presentation.

Prepare a rack of lamb

...Prepare a rack of lamb

Step by step

1 While still fridge cold, remove the bark (paper-like skin covering the fat). It is easier to pull it away from the chine/backbone end towards the ribs. Lift the bark at one corner of the chine end with your fingertips or a small, sharp knife. Once you have enough to hold on to, slowly pull it back towards the ribs. If it is not pulling away easily, then use the knife to release a little of it first, then try pulling it away. You do not want to pull away the fat, just the skin.

2 Cut away excess fat, leaving an even 1-2mm layer on the eye/loin.

3 Score through the fat across the rack 2-3cm from the end of the ribs, then cut it away

4 With the rack standing on the chine, cut down on both sides of each rib, just to the scored line, then cut across to release the meat between the ribs. Remove and use for stocks and sauces.

5 Remove the chine bone. Use a small knife to angle beneath the end of the ribs against the chine bone and, keeping the knife firmly against the chine bone, cut down carefully a little at a time to release the eye of meat and ribs from the chine. Avoid cutting into the eye of the meat.

6 Remove the gristle (a thick elastic tendon), which lies close to the eye just beneath the fat covering the eye at the chine end of the rack.

7 Now clean the bones. Place the rack on the board, rib side down and, using a small knife positioned vertically on the first rib (not with the blade horizontally flat on the rib) and held firmly, scrape the thin film of sinew off the rib and away from you. The ribs should be completely clean of any sinew or they will burn. While the rack is turned over, also remove any excess fat from the outside of the rib area covering the eye.

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