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Friday, June 22, 2012

Carré d'Agneau (Carre d'Agneau) - A rack of lamb. A rack of Lamb on French Menus. Ordering Lamb in France II.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan Newman 
A rack of lamb, a carre d'agneau, comes from a spring lamb.
A rack of lamb comes from a spring lamb, and you will be served one of the two sides of the rack; that is eight chops. Half-a-rack of spring lamb may be offered for two or more diners. Read the menu carefully as even a half-rack may weigh from 700 grams (1.5 lbs) to1.30 kilos (2.8 lbs), or more; a spring lamb is not a baby lamb!  When you do order a half rack of spring lamb do not let the restaurant divide the rack into lamb chops in the kitchen, which would be a shame, you may have missed an artist at work. 

Four chops cut from a half-rack.
Note that the lamb is rosé, pink.
Photograph courtesy of Mike Lang
When you order lamb you will only rarely be asked: 
How you would like it cooked?
 In France you will rarely be asked how you would like your lamb cooked, as you would, when ordering a steak.   If you are considering lamb cooked differently to the French rosé, pink, discuss your preferences with the waiter when ordering.

Here are six fairly small spring lamb chops, cut from a rack,  maybe 300 grams (11 ounces) with the bones.
300 grams is approximately 150 grams (5 ounces) of meat.
Photograph courtesy of Waferboard.
Carré d'agneau, on a French menu,
 comes with quite a variety of meanings in English.
 Carré d'Agneau when offered to an individual diner may be considered by an English speaker to be lamb chops; the rack will have been cut, in the kitchen.  In France when the chops are cooked as a rack, not individually, they remain a carré d'Aagneau even when separated. Lamb chops, when cooked individually, in French, are côtes or côtelettes.
Your menu may offer.
 Carré d’Agneau Rôti au Romarin Frais –  Roasted rack  of lamb prepared with fresh rosemary.

A rack of lamb, cut into 3 lamb chops, for an individual diner.
Photograph courtesy of Michael Fletcher.
Carré d'Agneau à la Provençale -  A rack of lamb covered with bread crumbs that will have been mixed with garlic, parsley and thyme; then all  roasted in the oven
Carré d’Agneau Rôti à la Broche (Le) – A rack of lamb roasted on a spit.

Three chops cut from a rack of lamb, cut for a single diner.
The lamb above is served with peas, mashed with mint, and the sweet potatoes are flavored with nutmeg.
Photograph courtesy of  Lucas Richarz.
Bryan G Newman

Behind the French Menu
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For information about the book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman.