jacques pepin's rack of lamb provencal

3/4 cup broth
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp white wine
1 pinch dried thyme
1 tsp flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 whole shallots
minced, about 2 tablespoons
3 tbsp fresh parsley
1 small garlic clove
minced, about 1/4 teaspoon
1/8 tsp herbes de Provence
or dried thyme
1 slice white bread
firm, about 1 ounce, processed in a magic bullet to yield about 1/2 cup or crumbs
1 whole rack of lamb
about 1 1/4 pounds, trimmed of most surface fat
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
freshly ground
1/2 cup brown sauce
for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Pour the broth into a small saucepan. Add the tomato paste, wine, thyme, and flour. Bring to a boil then simmer on low until it reduces to 1/2 cup of brown sauce.
Heat the cast iron skillet over high heat. In a small oven-safe container, melt the butter inside the warming oven for a few minutes.
Using a fork, mix the shallots, parsley, garlic, dried herbs, and bread crumbs with the melted butter.
Sprinkle the rack with salt and pepper and brown it in the skillet, meat side down to start. Brown all sides of the rack. Use tongs to prop the rack up while you brown the bottom.
Transfer the rack to a roasting pan, meat side up, then reserve the skillet. Press the crumb mixture onto the top of the rack., then roast it for 12-15 minutes.
If the crumbs haven't browned enough, broil the rack for about 1 minute.
Rest the rack for about 10 minutes on top of the stove or inside a very low oven (140-150°F) before carving.
Skim the excess fat from the skillet, then add the brown sauce. Stir the sauce around then strain it into a small sauce container.
Carve the rack in between the ribs and transfer to serving plates. Garnish each plate with watercress and serve the sauce on the side.
This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of classic "brown sauce." We didn't have any of that on hand, so we improvised and just simmered some broth with ingredients that usually go into brown sauce. :)