Classic Crown of Lamb Recipe and Gravy

Classic Crown of Lamb Recipe and Gravy on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
549 Calories
39g Fat
3g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 549
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 993mg 43%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 558mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A rack of lamb is a delicious, simple, and quick way to serve lamb to a crowd. Have you ever considered turning those racks into a showstopping crown of lamb? It's called a "crown" for the circular shape it takes once assembled. This stunning dish is much easier to prepare than you may realize—you only need a sharp knife, string or butcher's twine, a can, and aluminum foil.

The racks of lamb will need to be french trimmed, cutting away excess fat on the exposed rib bones and scraping off any meat. The process is done mainly for aesthetic reasons, but you may want to ask your butcher to take care of it for you.

For the ultimate success with this dish, use fresh spring lamb not frozen.

Classic Crown of Lamb Recipe and Gravy/Tester Image

"It looks so impressive but this crown of lamb roast is actually quite simple and easy to make. The red wine pan sauce is delicious, especially with a pinch of truffle salt." —Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Lamb:

  • 2 (1-pound) lamb racks, French trimmed

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

For the Gravy:

  • 1/2 cup good red wine

  • 1 cup beef, lamb, or chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garish

  • Roasted potatoes, for serving, optional

  • Roasted vegetables, for serving, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 40 minutes (it will be difficult to cut and shape the lamb if it is too cold).

    Classic Crown of Lamb Recipe and Gravy ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 425 F. Flip the lamb over so that the bones are facing you. Using a sharp boning knife or chef's knife, make a 1-inch incision between the bottom of each bone on both racks.

    Using a large knife make incision between the bottom of each bone on both racks

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Turn the lamb so the bones are facing away from you. Slice under the bones (no more than 1/2-inch) along the entire length of the rack. This incision is where you will be tying kitchen twine to form a circular "crown" shape. Be extra careful not to cut too deep or the meat will separate from the bone and possibly tear when you shape it.

    Cut between the lamb meet and the bone

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Lay the racks fat-side up, on a work surface in front of you. Rub the fat side of a rack with half the olive oil, and half of the salt and pepper. Gently rub and press the salt and pepper into the fat to help it stick. Repeat with the second rack and remaining ingredients.

    Lamb seasoned with salt and pepper on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Stand the racks up, resting the bones on the work surface, and gently bend each into a semi-circle with the fat/meat side toward the inside. Press the racks together to form a circle.

    Lamb racks formed into a circle on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Measure the diameter of the inside of the crown (you don’t need to be too precise, you just need an approximate size) and find a can or jar to fit comfortably in the middle. Cover the can or jar with aluminum foil. The covered jar will help to support the lamb while you tie the twine. 

    Rack of lamb with aluminum foil in the middle, on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. With a length of kitchen twine long enough to tie around the racks twice, slip the twine into the sliced space under the bones. Pull firmly—but not too tightly or you'll cut into the meat—and secure with a knot.

    Lamb rack wrapped in twine, on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. With another double length of twine, tie twice around the center of the crown, pull firmly, and secure with a knot. Remove the can or jar. The crown will stand up very nicely all by itself.

    Lamb rack wrapped in twine on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Place the lamb onto a rack in a roasting pan, lightly scrunch up the foil you used to cover the can, and pop this into the center of the crown (the heat reflected by the foil helps to cook the lamb). Wrap each of the exposed bones with a small piece of foil to prevent them from burning during roasting.  Slip the sprigs of rosemary into twine around the crown to infuse the lamb with wonderful flavor and aroma.

    Lamb wrack tied with rosemary with the bones wrapped with aluminum foil on a roasting pan

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Roast to your preferred doneness. Using a temperature probe will give you a precise guide by measuring the internal temperature of the meat.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. If you don’t have a probe, roast 30 to 35 minutes for medium, reducing or adding 5 minutes each way for more or less doneness.

    Lamb rack on a roasting pan, with a thermometer

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  11. Once cooked to your liking, remove from the oven and transfer the lamb to a cutting board, leaving the roasting juices behind in the pan. Tent the lamb with foil and let rest for 15 minutes while you make the gravy. The internal temperature of the lamb will rise about 5 degrees more as the lamb rests. This is known as carryover cooking.

    Aluminum foil on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  12. Place the roasting pan with the juices on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Once the juices start to bubble, add the red wine, stir and scrape up any browned bits stuck on the pan with a wooden spoon.

    Lamb cooking liquid with red wine in a pan on a burner, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  13. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, and let the sauce reduce by one-third.

    Sauce in a pan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  14. Combine the flour and butter in a bowl to form a thick paste.

    Flour and butter mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  15. Once the sauce has reduced, turn the heat to high, add the flour paste, whisking until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Sauce cooking in a pan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  16. Strain into a warmed gravy pitcher. Gently remove the rosemary sprigs and kitchen twine from the lamb. Serve the lamb on a platter garnished with fresh rosemary sprigs, hot gravy, roast potatoes, and vegetables, if desired. 

    Classic Crown of Lamb Recipe and Gravy on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi


  • The crown in this recipe is unstuffed. There are delicious recipes for stuffed versions, which make a complete dish by themselves. Filling the center of the crown with a stuffing makes judging the correct internal temperature a little tricky, so you may opt to cook the stuffing separately, filling the crown before serving, or serve it as a side.
  • Our all-time favorite potato dish to serve with a crown roast of lamb is gratin dauphinoise, a classic accompaniment which can be baked in the oven once the lamb is removed. 

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