Lamb is a very tasty meat because of it’s fat. Because of this fat, it is also a meat that is easily prep’d from frozen – especially lamb racks for use on a Weber BBQ…
Smoked lamb racks cooked on a Weber BBQ using Tamari, salt and hickory wood chips
As most of you know, too much salt isn’t hot for the internal parts of our body. I am not a big salt user in alot of food when cooking. I never put it on my food when eating away from home either; i always accept what is given to me. I see alot of people sprinkle their food with salt all the time, even without tasting it first. They do this often several times in some mindless manner while talking and eating. It is clearly a bad family habit they picked up and something everyone needs to curb. You can modify this dish for Paleo/Primal if you like, but the occasional Tamari and salt dish won’t hurt your diet if you limit this to special occasions. The reason i use salt aswell? Because the salt draws flavours deep into the meat – don’t avoid this or it will be very mild with Tamari only.
- Lamb rack – (with fat on!)
- Tamari – Spiral or Mother Earth (gluten free)
- Rock salt – course ground
- Rosemary – optional
- Weber BBQ with Hickory wood chips
Lamb racks out of the freezer only need about 8-12 minutes on defrost in the microwave and let stand for a few minutes before they are good to go. The bone and fat in these mean the racks don’t get as solidly frozen as some beef or chicken. I always have a few racks in the freezer for an emergency BBQ night 🙂
Stab the racks on the underside between the bones and anywhere else for that matter. Flip over and make nice shallow incisions in the fat as this will help the melting fat drip through the meat. I never trim the fat off my racks because alot of this will disappear in the BBQ process leaving you with a crispy fat layer that is just amazing.
Salt the racks liberally on the underside in a tray. Then salt the tray in equal rack size areas and place the fat side down on the salt and leave for a while. Douse the undersides of the racks that have stab holes through it with Tamari and rub evenly around with the salt so it covers the racks. Make sure you rub Tamari over the racks bones too. Then after about 20 minutes, stand the racks on end in some of the Tamari and salt left-overs in the tray so the ends are well covered too. Place back down with fat up and re-douse with Tamari to make sure you have a good covering. The Tamari is not a strong flavour unlike most soy sauces, it adds a wonderful caramel flavour to this so it is hard to over do this.
You can use some torn rosemary in this too but i find this better if your doing a oven cooked version because the rosemary flavour remains better in an oven dish than on a BBQ. If you do try the oven version, back off the salt and just use Tamari. The BBQ process really dumps alot of excess salt whereas the oven does not. With an oven version, just grill these babies top and bottom with several rotations during cooking in a meat tray with drip rack.
Cooking the racks can be done direct or indirect – i prefer direct and placing some wet hickory wood chips down on the coals before placing the racks on the BBQ. However, if you do this, start the cooking fat side up and have the bones away from the coal pile. I place the racks on the end of the pile and then rotate them a couple of times to the fat side. If you leave these too long on the fat side or have them placed too directly over the coals you risk flaring and burning the racks. The bones will also cook, get brittle and break so watch you keep them off to one side when direct cooking. I find about 10-15 minutes with the undersides down and maybe two 7-8 minute rotations onto the fat side and back will do the trick for 2-3 decent size racks. It all depends on the amount of coals and the size or quantity of racks your cooking. Just check them briefly in a tray if unsure and bear in mind you need a good 8-10 minutes rest time when done – the racks will cook further in this time too. Do this in foil if you can to keep them hot.
Cut rare rack with char-grilled broccolini done the same BBQ
If the racks look a little rare when you serve, you can always pop them back on the BBQ for anyone who dislikes rare meat. If you over cook them a bit, they will still taste great because high fat meats with bone always do – they will still be juicy. It is difficult to ruin a lamb rack meal in my mind knowing this. With my guests, i am never stingy – even if they are not big eaters, they are dealt a whole rack each. Because in my mind, the presentation of a whole rack with a plate of colourful roasted vegetables is very hard to beat for wow factor.