Rack of Lamb with bulgur pilaf

May 11, 2010  •  Category:


Is there a dish that makes you lose control and that you devour in minutes?

When I make a rack of lamb,  Nick (son) forgets he is a vegetarian and wants to attack all of the meat  the minute he sees it;  Alice (daughter) wants to show me how she cleaned out every speck from the bones. (They turn  into cave people). They eat it in minutes.

It will require 20 minutes of preparation. Cook in 30 minutes or so. Devoured in less time, unfortunately.

INGREDIENTS: 6 servings

  • 3 pounds rack of lamb
  • 2 Tablespoons seven-spice (or any spice mixture of your choice)
  • a bunch of garlic cloves
  • salt, pepper
  • chopped fresh herbs (optional)
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 2 cups of bulgur #4 (coarse)
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 2 cups of assorted nuts and dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, pecans, walnuts, pistachios
  • a handful of kumquats, for decoration


  1. Remove all the extra fat from the lamb, leaving a little layer only and season with spices; insert garlic cloves into the flesh or rub mashed garlic all over; sprinkle some herbs all over, drizzle some olive oil and set the lamb aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the bulgur pilaf: Heat 3 tablespoons of clarified butter or oil in a pot; add the bulgur and stir-fry for 4 minutes until the grains are well coated in fat and translucent; add 2 cups of water, the bouillon cubes, the dried raisins and cranberries and bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes; reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 20 minutes till done; add the toasted nuts, toss and serve.
  3. Cook the rack of lamb: Heat the oven to 4ooF (200 C) ; place the rack on a pan lined with foil. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the lamb is still pink inside. Check it halfway through to make sure it is not cooking too fast. If you want it medium-rare the temperature should be 145F. Medium 160F.  Serve with the bulgur pilaf.

NOTE:if you boil the kumquats in a syrup for 15 minutes; (one cup sugar and 1/2 cup water); that way,the fruits that are left over can be used  for other purposes.

Seven-spice is a Lebanese spice mixture found at middle-eastern stores; the mix is sold in a spice packet and is made up of: Allspice, black & white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom.

I bought the lamb at the Palestinian grocer; he has a Halal meat market; however the butchers there are not super sophisticated and don’t do the Frenching technique to clean the rack and make it pretty; oh well!


58 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. love2cook says:

    Hi there, thanks for dropping by my space! Lamb with pilaf looks so irresistible! No wonder your son forgot he’s vegetarian! 😉

  2. A Canadian Foodie says:

    I love how you dressed up the lamb bones! Now – who do you feed all these great meals to? How many people are dinner each night. I am in awe. I love lamb. Hubby hates it… this is one meat that can be a real turn off if too old or cooked “by the wrong person” I have found… I mean. One who cannot cook a great spring lamb. I have roasted many on a spit and love those kinds of parties…
    This meal look succulent. I can just taste the rice soaking up the juices from the meat.

    • Joumana says:

      Are you kidding? I never have leftovers! Between a 17 and a 20 year old who visits daily, my neighbor and friends who drop by, food spoilage is not a problem!

  3. peter says:

    From the photo, I see you left lots of good fat on the lamb, thank you! I’m thinking that herbed fleru del sel you sent me would be a great rub on some lamb. What say you?

  4. SYLVIA says:

    This is a great scrumptious celebration dinner, this is from ordinary to extraordinary,the house will smell beautiful perfume with earthy flavor, all I need is a red ribbon to go with the cranberries. Lamb has B12 which keeps your nervous system healthy. cheers Joumana, thank you

  5. Cool Lassi(e) says:

    Hey dear,
    The rack of lamb looks fabulous! I wish I could have some right now. No wonder you son and daughter attack and polish of their plates.
    That green pastry parcels with carrot coin looks wonderful as well.

  6. Mathai says:

    Honestly the sight of that succulent lamb would make anyone forget their table manners and turn into a ‘cave animal’, so I wouldn’t blame Nick and Alice! 😀

  7. Andy says:

    Wow, that looks good. I love lamb, and need to try it with your 7 spice recipe.
    I don’t cook bulgur enough, but now that I see your lamb nestled in it like that, I will have to cook some up this weekend!!

    Cheers, Andy

  8. Barbara Bakes says:

    I have never cooked rack of lamb. Sounds like my family has been missing out on a scrumptious meal.

  9. Ivy says:

    No wonder your children love this. It looks delicious and love your presentation with the kumquats dressing the lamb bones. I am not a big fan of lamb but love that pilaf.

  10. peteformation says:

    Rack of lamb for me anytime…..I love this recipe very much!

  11. sophia says:

    My gosh, I would devour ANYTHING you cook. And not just lamb! This looks fantastic. I love the use of bulgur here…It’s one of my favorite grains!

    Oh, and did you know my FAVORITE guy name is Nick? I used to write a lot of stories, and the male protagonist was always called nick! 😉

  12. MaryMoh says:

    Awesome dish! I love lamb. I love the flavour and texture. I haven’t tried bulgur. Have to try one day. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Katerina says:

    I love bulgur. This looks delicious.

  14. Priya says:

    Am a big fan of lamb, tempting dish..love that bulgur pilaf, looks utterly healthy and thanks for sharing..

  15. Rosa says:

    I really love bulgur and lamb! That dish looks mighty good! The meat is cooked to perfection…



  16. Sushma Mallya says:

    Pilaf looks delicious..

  17. brian_in_gib says:

    Mmmm, that’s looks lovely. The bulgar pilaf sounds really tasty, as does the Lebanese seven spice. I’m not sure I can find it here though. If I was to make my own, what proportions would I put in of each spice?

  18. Sonia says:

    nice click and look delicous !

  19. grace says:

    i love how you’ve used the kumquats in the presentation–very clever! the pilaf looks beautiful and delicious, what a great plate of food. 🙂

  20. fimère says:

    c’est normal que ce plat n’a pas fait pas long feu, la cuisson de l’agneau me parait parfaite et succulente
    bravo à toi
    bonne journée

  21. Joanne says:

    Lamb is one of those things that I can’t control myself around either…I just LOVE it! Especially with a SEVEN-SPICE seasoning….

  22. Cara says:

    Lamb has that affect on me too, I just love it! Your bulgur pilaf sounds delicious too. Can I come over next time? 🙂

  23. Meeta says:

    Jou – this is sooo good. making me extremely hungry and slightly remembering my time in Qatar with my Lebanese friends. This would be the kind of meal they usually cooked up!

  24. Erica says:

    My vegetarian husband…..will forget that he is a vegetarian, too 😉 This looks delicious!!!

  25. Magdalena says:

    This must be delicious!
    Lamb is my favorite meat since I am in France. If you will visit Paris one day, I can recommend you an exquisite butcher shop located at rue de l’Abbe Gregiore in the 6th (metro St Placide) (his name is Bajon – I was mentioning in my post concerning pig’s trotter jelly). It is our favorite butcher, un vrai butcher chef, if I may say so. His lamb is excellent and he will cut it and prepare if for you perfectly.
    I like boulgur, although I discovered only few years ago (in my country not popular). Take care!

  26. Sridevi says:

    I love lamb and this looks really delicious with bulgur pilaf

  27. Camille says:

    Sounds great! Nick (husband) has been asking for lamb lately… 😉

  28. sweetlife says:

    oh my this looks super…I can see why your kids love this, the bulgar is loaded with flavors and the lamb looks wonderful


  29. Sook says:

    The rice pilaf looks delicious!!

  30. Nadia says:

    A lovely dish. The kumquats are a very nice touch. I have the same problems with my butcher. At home, I like to use halal meat, but for “fancier” cuts I usually just go to the regular butcher because the halal butcher never gets it right or doesn’t know what I’m talking about. hehe.

  31. Lili18 says:

    Ce plat me paraît délicieux…j’aime beaucoup l’agneau !
    Bises et bon week-end, à bientôt !

  32. Jen_from_NJ says:

    I bet I would devour that dish in minutes also! The seven-spice blend sounds delicious!

  33. Stella says:

    Yum Joumana! I don’t know if I’ve told you this before, but lamb is one of the main reasons (the other being shrimp) that I have to call myself a Flexitarian instead of a vegetarian. Whenever I get a craving for some meaty protein, kosher lamb is what I want and eat! And this is making me want to do that…

    Oh, by the way and on an older subject, that’s not dirt on those village eggs. That’s a nice way of saying it though (smile)… Stella

  34. Juliana says:

    Just recently I started to appreciate lamb…yours look awesome with the bulgur…great pictures as well 🙂

  35. Jenn, Leftover Queen says:

    This looks amazing, and I am like your daughter, I love chewing dem bones!

  36. Faith says:

    I’ve always been too intimidated to make rack of lamb. Your recipe is so straightforward I think I might give it a try! Mike would be one happy (thrilled, actually) camper. 🙂

  37. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I’ve never tried bulger before. I’m going to have to try your pilaf recipe. It looks great!

  38. lynn says:

    Mmmm, I love lamb. I can almost smell it cooking from here 🙂

  39. alwayswinner786 says:

    Lamb with pilaf is so delicious and with the use of such unique spices I am sure it has a mouthwatering smell!
    Your son and daughter is really lucky to have Mom like you!
    God Bless.

  40. Pierre says:

    7 spices ay… I love the number. I’ve got to try that.

    I think frenching can be pretty wasteful. Especially when I really want to eat everybit of the meat on that plate you’ve got.

    (rumble rumble)<—- that's a comment from my buddy, tummy.

  41. kristy says:

    Cool! Lamb & pilaf sounds delish! Hmm..mm…
    regards, Kristy

  42. Tim Vidra says:

    Lamb love it! I have a mini ground lamb burger recipe I will have to post about!

  43. shayma says:

    the recipe is amazing and one i promise you i shall be making, anything-lamb is my husband’s favourite dish in the world- and i love what you’ve done with the kumquats- so creative! x shayma

  44. My Persian Kitchen says:

    I love lamb and I also have fallen in love with Bulgur when introduced to it at a Lebanese restaurant. It all looks so incredibly appetizing!

  45. Tammy says:

    Oh Joumana! Now I know just what I’m making for dinner Friday night. I have the bulgur wheat, the kumquat already prepared (left over from when I covered a a tarte au citron with thinly sliced candied kumquat…) I’ll pick up some lamb, but do you have any sense of the proportions for the seven-spice? I’d really like to use it, but as I live in the French countryside, the odds of my tracking some down may be rather slim…

    Thank you!

  46. Spice Rack says:

    Mouth watering. I would love to taste one of these in the future.

  47. cmiranda says:

    Thats true, nothing can compare to a good rack of lamb.We had some the other day and we were finished in fifteen minutes considering it took a while to prepare and cook.

  48. Lacie Hoffman says:

    Good afternoon ,

    I’m an intern with Superior Farms and I noticed your great article on your preparation of lamb! I am super excited to hear all the enthusiasm about lamb. We are kicking off the summer with our summer grilling promotion at http://www.GrillLamb.com. We’re giving away a Mediterranean cruise for two and promoting simple Mediterranean seasonings for lamb. We are hoping to get more lamb lovers this summer by highlighting delicious recipes and cooking tips. If you have any posts coming up, we would love to hear about them! Also, look for us on Facebook.

    Thank you for your time!


    Lacie Hoffman

  49. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    I am making this with chicken thighs and using sun dried tomatoes drenched in honey to make the bulgur. It’s not that I didn’t like the original recipe but it’s because I liked it so much I got desperate and made it with ingredients I had on hand!
    I will have to make this properly with the correct ingredients next week. 🙂
    By the way what kind of herbs do you tend to use?

    • Joumana says:

      @Murasaki: Actually I use the herbs that are available and look good and fresh; I love zaatar (a form of oregano) so I try to use it a lot!

  50. Kym says:

    Omg!!! This recipe is to die for, really! Thank you. I’m making it for the second time tonight and already I can’t wait to turn into a cave man myself! (admittedly I do the same with the bones. As a kid, the table would be cleared and I would have still been chewing and cleaning those bones like it was my last meal!)

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