The holidays are a time to grill something extra special. Turkey is the standard for Thanksgiving, so by Christmas you are ready for something different to be the centerpiece of the holiday table. You have probably seen lots of recipes for beef standing rib roast (aka, prime rib) and standing pork roast. But how about a lamb standing crown roast? Its small size means that it will cook quickly, and for most of us, lamb isn’t something served often so it will feel extra special. You can serve it as the main course, or as an appetizer course. And the best part is that it is super easy to assemble and quick to grill on your TEC Infrared Grill.
Assemble the Crown
The first step is to assemble the standing crown roast. You can have your butcher do it, or it is easy to do yourself. Just buy two racks of lamb that are roughly the same size, and preferably already frenched (that is, the meat has been scraped from the bones at the top of the chop).
1. Rinse the racks of lamb under cold water, and pat dry.
2. Grab some kitchen twine and a long skewer. Tie a knot at the end of the twine, and wrap it around the skewer.
3. Poke a hole through one end of one of the racks with the skewer. Gently push the twine through the hole using the skewer.
4. Stand the racks up on their ends with the fatty sides facing each other (like a mirror image). Thread the twine through the end of the second rack, and tighten to form one half of the circle.
5. Repeat tying the other side of the racks to form a complete circle.
6. Tie the top bones together on each end to further tighten the circle.
Make the Marinade and Compound Butter
Rub a marinade all over the lamb crown roast to give it flavor, and so the skin crisps while grilling. A compound butter is a great flavor boost when serving the lamb chops, and adds an extra bit of richness and tang at the end.
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine about 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, zest of 1/2 lemon, and 1 tablespoon salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
2. Rub the marinade all over the crown roast. Let sit at least 30 minutes on the counter, or up to one day in the refrigerator.
3. For the compound butter, place 1/2 head of garlic on a small piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to grill.
4. In another small mixing bowl, stir together about 1/4 cup of softened unsalted butter, zest of 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves (chopped), 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (chopped), and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside at room temperature.
Grill the Crown Roast
Here’s the easy part!
1. Meanwhile, preheat your TEC Infrared Grill over medium heat.
2. Place the crown roast on the preheated grill. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until desired temperature is reached (about 135 for medium-rare). Remove from grill and let rest for about 15 minutes.
3. Place the garlic foil packet on the grill alongside the roast. Roast for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from grill and let cool. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, gently squeeze the garlic pulp out of the skin into the compound butter mixture. Stir to combine.
4. When ready to serve, cut the crown roast into individual chops. Brush each chop with some of the compound butter, and serve on its own, or with stuffing, wild rice, or mashed potatoes.
Here are some other delicious grilled lamb crown recipes:
Food Network – Pat and Gina Neely
Food and Wine – Chef Hugh Acheson