A Father’s Day post: Rack of Lamb and Three Cheese Potato Gratin – a meal fit for a king!

With so many different nationalities living in Dubai, moms are fortunate to get not one, but several Mother’s day celebrations – Arabic, North American, French, British – forgive me if I missed any! I can barely keep up with which Mother’s day is which, and year after year, I’m pleasantly overwhelmed when my children bring home handwritten notes with the words “I love you Mom” throughout the second school term. 

So when I told my husband I was writing a post for father’s day, he looked up at me and said in all innocence “We get one too?” It seems that dad’s aren’t privy to global acknowledgement as we mothers are, and the lead-up to father’s day doesn’t ever seem as grandiose as it should be.

The following words are dedicated to deserving Dad’s everywhere.

Here’s to the man who shed tears of pride when his children were born, who cradled his babies, changed dirty nappies, and rocked nighttime baby duty so that his tired wife could rest.

Here’s to the man who paces the halls when his children are sick, who kisses scrapped knees, who helps tame tantrums, and who has read “Good Night Moon” a thousand times.

Here’s to the man who is strong enough to be vulnerable, who makes us laugh, lets us be silly, and who makes us proud.

Here’s to the man who whispers “it’s gonna be ok” even when it might not be, who makes his wife feel more beautiful as time goes by, and whose happiest days are those spent with his family.

Here’s to the man who listens with open ears and an open heart, who says “follow your dreams” to his wife and his kids, and here’s to the man who means it.

Here’s to the man that our sons look up to and our daughter admires, who we love beyond words and who loves us back without question – he is our hero every day.

Happy Father’s Day to the most wonderful dad and husband anyone could ever wish for!

rack of lamb with fine green beans and potatoes gratin

Herb crusted rack of lamb and three cheese potato gratin

For the potato gratin:

  • 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 large yellow potatoes (about 1 ½ to 2 pounds)
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated gruyère cheese
  • ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat a frying pan with butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions (sprinkle with a pinch of salt) and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and begin to brown (about 12 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).

Thinly slice your potatoes using a mandolin or a knife (I like my potatoes super thin, a mandolin works very well for this).

potatoes cut with a mandoline

Combine the guyère, cheddar, and reggiano cheese in a small bowl. Use 1 ½ cups for mixing into the potatoes, and keep the remaining ½ cup to sprinkle on top.

In a large bowl, mix potatoes, onions, 1 ½ cups cheese, cream, salt, and pepper together.

three cheese potato mixture with caramelized onions

Lightly butter a gratin or baking dish (I used a 10 x 10 inch square ovenproof dish – you can use any similar size. I also make them in individual portions using ramekins.

Add the potato mixture and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Make sure to distribute the ingredients evenly.

potato gratin preparation

Bake for 1 ½ hours until the top is brown and bubbly and the potatoes are cooked through.

three cheese potatoes*tip: Make the potatoes before you cook your rack of lamb. While the lamb is almost finished cooking, reheat the potatoes for 10 minutes before serving.

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb (recipe inspired and adapted from Chef Thomas Keller)

Ingredients:

  • 1 frenched rack of lamb (usually 7 to 8 bones), about 2 ¼ pounds (1 kg)
  • Canola oil (for searing the lamb)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • ¾ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Maldon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Remove the lamb from the fridge thirty minutes before cooking it. Cut a cross pattern through the fat on the top of the lamb. Season lamb all over with salt and pepper.

how to score a rack of lamb

rack of lamb preparation

rack of lamb preparation salt and pepper

Heat canola oil in a frying pan over medium high heat, add the lamb fat side down. Cook without turning for about 2 minutes, or until the fat is brown. Carefully turn the lamb over and “kiss” the other side, cooking for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

rack of lamb browning process

Preheat your oven to 220 C (425 F). Set the oven rack in the lower third of your oven.

Mix the honey and the Dijon mustard together in a bowl. Spread the mixture all over the lamb (only on the fat side).

 

Purée the butter and the garlic together with a hand blender or a hand-held whisk. Add the panko, parsley, rosemary, a pinch of salt, and pepper.

garlic confit submerged in oil.jpg

panko parsley rosemary butter garlic

Spread the panko mixture generously on the lamb (on the fat side only).

rack of lamb panko crust

Place the lamb on a roasting rack over a pan, panko side up. You can also place it directly on a pan if you don’t have a roasting rack.

roasting rack of lamb

Put the lamb in the oven, with the meat side toward the back, and roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until the temperature in the center of the meat registers 128º F to 130º F (53º t0 54º C).

frenched herb crusted rack of lamb

Let the lamb rest on the rack in a warm place for about 20 minutes for medium-rare.

herb crusted rack of lamb with rosemary

Carve each rack into four 2-bone chops and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and serve alongside the potatoes.

Dig in and enjoy the decadence. Seriously delicious!

rack of lamb with fine green beans and potatoes gratin

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