Roasted Colorado Rack of Lamb with Spring Pea Sauté and Pea Emulsion

Kelly Liken

Restaurant Kelly Liken, Vail, CO

Colorado lamb is very tender and less gamey than imported varieties. Chef Kelly Liken’s recipe combines the succulent meat with sweet peas for a lovely and light spring meal.




  • 1 eight-rack of Colorado lamb, Frenched
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrots
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 cups veal or beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (both green and white parts)
    • 1 cup shelled Fava beans (or other bean substitute, like lima beans)
    • 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 2 cups cleaned pea tendrils (or sprouts)


Put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook lamb for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate. Add celery, onions, and carrots to the pan and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are fragrant and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato, half of the chopped garlic, thyme, and red wine. Bring to a boil. Add the stock and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 25 minutes. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon. Strain the sauce and reserve.

While the sauce is cooking, stir together the remaining amount of chopped garlic with the chopped parsley and thyme. Coat the lamb with the herb mixture and cook for about 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 120ºF. Take the lamb out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.

While the lamb is in the oven, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the green onions, fava beans, and 1 cup of the green peas, stirring frequently, until aromatic, about 8 minutes. Stir in half of the chopped mint and season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Transfer mixture to a bowl and keep warm.

Using the same pan, heat the milk, the remaining 1/2 cup of green peas and mint over medium-high heat and simmer, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.

To plate, lightly coat the pea tendrils with olive oil, salt, and pepper and evenly divide among the plates. Top with the pea mixture and spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved sauce around the plate. Cut the lamb into individual chops and place 2 chops on top of the bean mixture. Garnish with the sauce.


4 servings