In The Kitchen Cooking Tips & Techniques

How to French a Rack of Lamb

Step-by-step photo tutorial on how to French cut a rack of lamb roast.

how to french a rack of lamb
Elise Bauer

A "rack" of lamb is a section of ribs, usually 7, sometimes 8 lamb chops in one piece.

A classic way to prepare rack of lamb is with the bones "frenched" or exposed.

These days you can usually find packaged lamb racks already frenched. Or if you have access to a butcher, he or she should be able to prepare it for you.

If not, here is a simple guide to frenching the ribs yourself, as demonstrated by master butcher Mike Carroll, meat department manager of Sacramento's Corti Brothers. Thanks Mike!

corti brothers butcher Mike Carroll with Frenched rack of lamb
Butcher Mike Carroll of Corti Brothers. Elise Bauer

How to French a Rack of Lamb

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Note Mike's butcher gloves in the photos. Mike's a professional butcher, so he's going to wear gloves when working with meat for customers. No need for gloves like these at home.

Ingredients

  • One rack of lamb

Method

  1. Make cutting guideline:

    Stand the lamb rack up on one end so that you can see the "eye" of the lamb chop.

    Score the fat side at the edge about an inch and a half or so up the rib from the eye to use as a cutting guideline. Do the same on the other end of the rack.

    stand rack of lamb on its side
    Elise Bauer
    score the ends of the rack of lamb
    Elise Bauer
  2. Cut fatty side to the bone:

    Using a sharp knife, cut through the fatty side of the rib roast, to the bone, from one marked end to the other.

    cut through fatty end of rack of lamb
    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Then go back over your cut and holding the knife perpendicular to the roast, jab it in several places to go all the way through the other side, so that the reverse site gets "marked" with scores.

  3. Cut around the flesh of the rib bones:

    Turn the rib rack over, so that it is now bone side up. You should be able to see the markings made from the knife that got inserted from the other side. Those markings will delineate the boundary beyond which you will not cut.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Working from the skinny ends of the rib bone, make a cut down along the bone, until you get to the previously scored marking, then cut across to the next rib and cut up to the end of that rib bone. Continue to do this until all of the bones have had the flesh cut around them.

  4. Pull the fat and flesh from the bones:

    Turn the rack over again so that the fat side is on top, and begin to pull off the fat and flesh from the bones.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Use your knife to help cut away any flesh that is sticking to the bones.

  5. Scrape away any residual flesh on the exposed bones:

    Use a towel to wipe the bones clean.

    finish cleaning the bones for frenched rack of lamb
    Elise Bauer
    how to french a rack of lamb
    Elise Bauer

    There you have it! Your rack of lamb is perfectly "Frenched".

rack-of-lamb-bw.jpg
Elise Bauer

One way of presenting 2 racks of lamb is by interlocking the rib bones.