Mesquite-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is from our friends at the Heartline Café in Sedona, Arizona.

Mesquite flour is ground from the Mexican mesquite pod, a large, sweet fruit of the mesquite tree. The pods are toasted and ground to make mesquite flour, which has a delicious nutty flavor. Check with a specialty food store to locate mesquite flour.

– Serves 4 –

Ingredients for Lamb:
1 whole rack of lamb (ask butcher to split and french the rack)
1 cup ground mesquite flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. black pepper
¾ Tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
¾ Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
¾ Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
½ cup corn oil
4 fresh herb sprigs
1 cup lamb, duck or beef stock warmed with 6 stems of fresh mint

Ingredients for Mashed Potatoes:
3 lb. baking potatoes, peeled and dried
4 Tbsp. chopped garlic and shallots combined
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 or 2 scallions, chopped
Buttermilk to achieve desired consistency

Method of Preparation for Lamb:
Preheat oven to 500°. Combine mesquite flour with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and thyme in a shallow pan. Cut each side of the rack into four-bone portions. Dredge each portion in seasonings. Add corn oil to a large heavy skillet and heat. Brown dredged lamb in oil. Place in oven until done, about 12 minutes for rare to medium-rare.

Allow lamb to rest for at least five minutes before slicing into portions. Arrange on plates next to Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Ladle stock over meat and garnish with fresh herb sprigs.

Method of Preparation for Mashed Potatoes:
Boil potatoes in salted water until very tender, then drain well. Mash potatoes with buttermilk to desired consistency. Add other ingredients and blend another minute. Longer whipping time makes the potatoes starchy and sticky. Do not blend any longer than you need to incorporate the ingredients.