The standard way to cook a rack of lamb is to sear the meat in a skillet, then cover it in some kind of coating (mustard, herbs, breadcrumbs, etc.), then roast it in the oven—aka the “sear and smear.” While this method works just fine, it’s also failed us in the past: the crust slides off (because we didn’t let the seared lamb cool), the crust burns in the oven (because the lamb took too long to cook through), or the crust falls off in shards once we begin to carve (because it got too crusty).
So after being crust-fallen too many times, we came up with a better method—let’s call it “cook and crust”—that flips the script. First, you sear a lamb in a cast iron skillet, then finish cooking it in the oven (which gives you the added bonus of a more deeply caramelized exterior), then dredge it in a crunchy, herby coating right before you carve and serve. This guarantees that the lamb is perfectly cooked to your liking and the crust stays intact.