There is never much buzz about the Big Smokes east end. It kind of flies under the radar despite housing some of Toronto's true gems. The Distillery District, of course George Brown, but the true pot of gold is the St. Lawrence Market. I am blessed to live in the east, a stones throw away from culinary school and a skip and a jump from the market. I visit the market daily, it's where I do my grocery shopping, I will often eat breakfast or lunch there, and sometimes I just walk around aimlessly feeling inspired by the things that I see. It's a pretty magical place for everyone, but especially for someone in the culinary world.
Purchasing meat can be a daunting task. There are so many factors to consider different cuts, grades, qualities, each requiring a different method of handling, preparing and cooking. Butchery can be a license to print money if you know what you are doing. When I visit the market to purchase my meat I am not always partial to which butcher I select. I always do a once over scan to see what everyone is offering. I look for cuts, colour, price amongst other things and usually have a recipe in mind before I go but I usually like to be inspired by something that I see. On my most recent visit to the market I stopped by Whitehouse Meats. It is my usual go to for more rare and unusual options like Kangaroo, Wild Boar and even Ostrich. I stuck with something a little more familiar and decided on a beautiful Frenched Rack of Lamb.
My Grandparents live in the Eastern Township of Quebec in a town called Magog. My grandfather a business man in mind but a farmer at heart has raised sheep since before I was born. Growing up my sisters and I would go to visit and he would take us to the farm when the lambs were born. Not only are they adorable but they are also delicious.
I never understood peoples aversion to lamb. The secretion of lanolin from the glands of wool bearing animals can have a distinct smell, which is something I find enticing, and often triggers salivating versus disgust. Rack of Lamb is truly a work of art. The exposed clean bones, and succulent meat make a fantastic plated dish and can look quite elevated. The Rack which is a primal cut of lamb from the ribs of the animal.
With a cut of meat like this it is important to keep it simple as to showcase its natural form and flavour. Being $21.99 a pound it must be treated with care and attention to ensure that it is cooked properly so as not to waste. This is not a cut you want to experiment on.
Rack of Lamb
1 Frenched Rack of Lamb
1 Sprig of Rosemary
1 Sprig of Thyme
100g Finely ground Pistachios
3 Cloves Of Garlic
100ml of Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 375. Wrap bones in tinfoil.
Leaf and finely chop the rosemary and thyme. Puree the garlic. Combine rosemary, thyme, Pistachios, garlic, olive oil, dijon mustard and some salt and pepper in a stainless steel bowl. Liberally cover rack with marinade. Allow to rest 30mins at room temperature.
Heat Sautuesse till smoke factor and brown the rack meat on all sides. Place on rack and baking sheet in over till internal temperature of 120. Remove and let rest till temperature rises to 130 desired doneness for medium rare.