Want to know the formula for magic in the kitchen? Low heat + many hours = deliciousness. Yep, that’s it. Magically tender meat made.
I won’t lie, taking four hours to cook something can seem daunting, but if you have the time, there’s nothing simpler than this. Lather a few ingredients on a rack of lamb, wrap in foil, cook for four hours. When it’s done, you’ll have the most soft and tender meat ever. Then, to add to the amazingness, place the slow-cooked lamb over a hot grill for a couple of minutes to brown it and add a little smokiness. Serve with tzatziki sauce and devour. This, my friends, will make you a happy happy human 🙂
for the lamb…
1 rack of lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
for the tzatziki… (*see note below if you don’t do dairy)
7 oz plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup grated and drained cucumber (1/2 large cucumber)
1 tbsp minced fresh dill
1/4 tsp mashed garlic (1 clove)
1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to “sweat” the cucumber & garlic
fresh dill sprigs
*If you don’t do dairy, there are some fabulous version of taztiki
you can try… HERE’s one that’s Whole30 approved if you’d like to give it a whirl!
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Start with the marinade…
Chop up some fresh rosemary- the finer, the better (using scissors or kitchen shears helps!)
Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, salt, and pepper
Set the lamb on a large sheet of foil
(I rarely use foil, but in this case, it seemed most efficient…
if you are uncomfortable with it, by all means use a different method!)
Rub the marinade all over the lamb, in every nook and cranny
Wrap the lamb tightly in foil- use two pieces if necessary to seal it well
Place in the oven (set on a small baking sheet or toaster oven pan in case of drips)
and let cook on the middle rack for 4 hours- no fidgeting necessary, just let it cook 🙂
Meanwhile, begin making the tzatziki sauce…
Note: using fresh dill is important- the dry stuff just doesn’t taste the same 🙂
Peel half of a large cucumber
Grate the cucumber
Once it drains, the cucumber will shrink down, so if you’re thinking this
looks like more than 1/3 cup, it should!
Sprinkle generously with salt
Let cucumber (with salt) sit in a small colander or strainer for at least 15 minutes
You’ll notice that immediately, it will begin losing liquid (“sweating”)
Using a spoon, press out any excess liquid
Finely chop fresh dill and garlic
Sprinkle salt over the mince garlic- once again, sweating food!
Then use the flat side of a large knife to mash the garlic- the salt will draw out moisture,
making it easier to create a paste of sorts
Rub the flat side of the knife across the garlic until its pretty mashed- this makes the
garlic more pleasant to eat in the tzatziki, so no one will bite into chunks of raw garlic 🙂
Add the yogurt, grated cucumber, dill, and garlic together in a bowl
Stir together until smooth
Then add the vinegar and stir once more
Since the saltiness of the tzatiki will vary depending on the amount of salt you put
on the cucumber and garlic to sweat, taste the sauce first, then add salt as desired.
I found 1/4 tsp to be perfect, but it’s always a good idea to taste first!
Cover tightly with wrap and refrigerate until ready to use
Just before eating, add the olive oil to the sauce- this finishes it off and gives it a nice texture
Stir and top with fresh dill to garnish if you’d like
Now back to lamb…
Now’s the time to get your grill ready- you want a high heat/hot grill
After 4 hours, remove the lamb from the oven- be careful when opening the foil- it’ll be hot!
For the grilling…
I love finishing this off on the grill- it’s always nice to get a
browned crust (not to mention the smoky flavor) when possible!
The thing is, this lamb is soooo soft and tender that cutting it just makes it fall apart on the spot…
So, if you’re going to grill it, do not cut it yet
Instead, place the whole rack (or you can cut it into two halves) on the grill
(I tried to demonstrate below- the pieces on the left that I cut could not even be
picked up without the meat falling off the bone,
where as the rack of four on the left could be grilled easily)
Lay the rack directly over the heat and grill a couple of minutes on each side,
until you get the color you want… I personally love a light char!
Be gentle when moving the meat around- it’ll be tender and delicate 🙂
Transfer directly to plate, top with some tzatziki, and garnish with fresh dill and lemon wedges