How to French a Rack of Lamb

In butchery, “frenching” is the process of removing all fat, meat, and connective tissue from the rib bones on a rack roast.

Personally, I like to leave all that stuff on when I’m cooking¬†lamb. I love the crispy, fatty bits on the bones, but for the purposes of presentation, frenching is often preferred.

Basic Trimming:

A rack of lamb consists of a loin attached to a series of rib bones. When untrimmed, this loin is covered with a thick layer of fat and connective tissue that should be removed before cooking.

Begin by using your fingers to find the natural seam between the top layer of fat and the rack. Slowly peel away the layer. You may use a paper towel to help grip and a small knife to help free any stubborn connective tissue.

The fat should separate along a natural fault line leaving a thin 1/8th-inch to 1/4th-inch layer next to the meat. Be careful not to get carried away when trimming. The more fat left on a lamb rack, the more flavor will come through!

At this step, your lamb rack is fully trimmed ready to cook. To french the rack, follow the steps below demonstrated for us by Phil Lewis, Chef du Cuisine at Fat Radish.

How to French:

Using your knife, score the membrane along the center of each bone. Place the tip of the knife against the center of the bone about an inch and a half away from the cut end and pull the knife slowly and firmly down away from the eye of the loin. Repeat along each bone.

photo 1 (6)

 

Grip the meat and pull away from the ribs slowly and firmly. You can use a paper towel to get a better grip. the meat should pull cleanly away from the bones. Continue working each rib until all are exposed.

photo 3 (7)

 

Flip the rack over and use your knife to cut away the flap. Discard excess fat, or render if desired.

 

photo 2 (9)

 

If you’re really lucky, the fat and membrane will come cleanly off the bones, leaving them bare and pearly white, but most of the time, little bits of meat and fat will remain behind. These can be removed with the help of a small pairing knife.

photo 1 (8)

 

 

 

To divide rack into smaller chops,¬†stand it on end, starting from the exposed rib end, cut between ribs with a smooth, single stroke. If you don’t get through in one stroke, pick up your knife, photo 2 (8)place it back in the seam, and pull it again. Try to avoid sawing back and forth, which will create jagged edges.

That’s it! It may seem intimidating at first but it just takes a little practice.

Leave any questions in the comments section bellow.

Happy Cooking!

About Alexes McLaughlin