Delicious lamb lollipops, crusted with toasted almonds, panko, spices and mint and flavoured with mustard and honey.
Lamb is one of my husband's favourites and these Almond Panko Crusted Lamb Lollipops, especially. Always moist, with a crispy coating and flavoured with mint, spices and mustard.
Much of the year we need to rely on frozen lamb, but lamb is in season right now, so look for fresh lamb in the fresh meat section of your local Loblaws store. Store your lamb in the refrigerator and use within 3-5 days. Be sure to remove your lamb from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking, to allow it to come to almost room temperature before cooking. Simply leave it in the original wrapping on the counter. Set a timer so you don't forget about it!
Temperature for Cooking Lamb
Most lamb lovers have a preference for the level of doneness they like, so when it comes to cooking lamb, an instant-read meat thermometer is a must-have. Check your lamb regularly and take it out of the oven when it reaches 5 degrees less than your desired level of doneness (internal temperature will rise by 5 degrees as it rests).
Rare: 115 to 120°F
Medium-Rare: 120 to 125°F
Medium: 130 to 135°F
Medium-Well: 140 to 145°F
Well-Done: 150 to 155°F
(Note that the safe internal temperature for lamb is considered to be 145F, although most prefer lamb when cooked rare or medium rare).
Almond Panko Crusted Lamb Lollipops
- One 8-rib rack of lamb (at room temperature)
- 8 mint leaves
- 1/2 cup almonds (toasted)
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- Be sure to remove your rack of lamb from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking, to allow it to come to almost room temperature before it goes in the oven.
- Toast the almonds: Add almonds to a skillet on the stove-top over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a bowl to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Add mint leaves, cooled toasted almonds, panko, cumin, thyme, red pepper flakes and oil and process into a paste.
- Season lamb with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard and honey. Rub over lamb. Press crust mixture over the lamb and place in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet (bone side down).
- Roast in preheated oven 25-40 minutes, or until desired level of done-ness. Let stand 5 minutes, before cutting in to lollipops.