Rack of Lamb With Red Wine Sauce

Lamb with red wine sauce

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
543 Calories
37g Fat
4g Carbs
35g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 543
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 48%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 377mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 35g
Calcium 47mg 4%
*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.)

This succulent rack of lamb is roasted and served with an easy red wine and herb pan sauce. Use a good quality red wine for the sauce, and use fresh herbs if possible.

This lamb makes a fabulous meal for a special occasion. Serve it with mashed potatoes and steamed or roasted vegetables. Roasted Brussels sprouts or steamed green beans are excellent choices.


  • For the Lamb:
  • 2 racks of lamb
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the Red Wine Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup onion (or shallot, finely chopped)
  • 1 cup dry red wine (e.g., pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, or merlot)
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves (minced, or about 1/4 teaspoon of crumbled dried rosemary)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves (minced, or a dash of dried leaf thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon chives (chopped)
  • 1 cup beef stock (preferably unsalted or low-sodium)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter
  • Kosher salt (to taste) 
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Prepare the Lamb

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6).

    Lamb with red wine

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Sprinkle the lamb with salt and pepper.


    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet—preferably an oven-safe skillet—over medium-high heat. Place racks of lamb in skillet, meaty side down.

    Add beef

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Sear the lamb until nicely browned on all sides, letting the racks support each other.

    Add butter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the lamb for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the racks to a platter, tent it loosely with foil, and keep warm.

    Cut lamb

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prepare the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for spices
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Place the skillet over medium heat and add the shallot or onions to the drippings. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Add the wine and herbs; boil until the wine has reduced by about two-thirds.


    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add the beef stock and continue to cook over medium heat until reduced to about 3/4 cup. Then add the butter and stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper. (Makes about 3/4 cup.)

    Sear the lamb

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Cut lamb into portions and serve with the red wine sauce. Serve and enjoy!

    Lamb with red wine sauce
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Rack of Lamb Doneness Temperature

The minimum safe temperature recommended by the USDA for lamb is 145 F or 160 F for ground lamb. That temperature would be medium-well. If you prefer a different temperature, here's a guide to temperatures (before any resting time).

  • Rare: 115 F to 120 F
  • Medium Rare: 120 F to 125 F
  • Medium: 130 F to 135 F
  • Medium Well: 140 F to 145 F
  • Well Done: 150 F to 155 F