What's wrong with this photograph?

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Can anyone (or most likely everyone) identify what's wrong with this photograph?

lamb-rack-hero-recipe-1300-800.jpg
 
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Typical of food photography/styling. Most of the food isn't edible, it's just supposed to look good.
Yes but in this case it doesn't look good, does it? I mean it doesn't look appealing. This was an ad for a grill, and all that photo does for me is make me think is that maybe their grills are underpowered or malfunctioning.
 
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Of course now I want to eat a rack of lamb, properly cooked. Been a while since I've done one. Maybe this week.

mjb.
 
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Joined Jul 15, 2020
It's actually probably primarily the poor trimming job done on that rack. There is way too much fat left over the finger/tail meat. Fat is an insulator and that part is going to cook much slower than the rest.

I'm actually planning on making rack of lamb for Easter this weekend. Our cold Canadian winter has made the COVID isolation much worse, so I'm jumping the gun a little with an almost summery Provencal menu. I'm going to give this recipe a try:

I'm a sucker for the theatre of presenting the racks in a bed of smokey herb branches tableside. Going to make some confit byaldi and gratin potatoes to go with it. Oh, and a bottle of red Bandol of course!
 
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Yes! Usually it's either more subtle or there's an edit in the video or the cook just plain explains what he's doing. That one was just weird!! :emoji_laughing:
I think it was just because it was a pretty amateur-ish video. It was all done in basically one take from a single angle and the audio suggests they didn't really have the proper sound equipment to record in a kitchen. So I don't think they had the skill or resources for much editting. 😂

In any event, I'm really excited to cook it. I got some beautiful young local lamb racks from my butcher, as well as 5lbs of lamb bones to make some killer quick lamb stock.

The only thing I'm a bit uncertain about is using cornstarch in the sauce. I'm used to just doing it by reduction or dusting the meat for a braise with flour and letting it thicken the sauce naturally.
 
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Yeah that was weird seeing him pull a raw rack of lamb from the oven saying "the rack of lamb is now ready".

I was surprised to see him use corn starch too. Reduction or "singer" (which is basically what you just described) is more traditional French. I suppose cornstarch is a shortcut, and it's probably fine if you don't abuse it and stop at the right texture, but it could quickly turn your jus into a glue. Traditionally, jus is not thickened at all, that's what makes it jus, it's not a sauce. At home, cooks make jus simply by deglazing pans with water. The result is very thin but extremely flavorful. A good homemade jus is very deeply colored (almost black) and very, very intensely flavored. Restaurant-style jus, being stock based, are usually a bit more subtle.
 
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Yeah that was weird seeing him pull a raw rack of lamb from the oven saying "the rack of lamb is now ready".

I was surprised to see him use corn starch too. Reduction or "singer" (which is basically what you just described) is more traditional French. I suppose cornstarch is a shortcut, and it's probably fine if you don't abuse it and stop at the right texture, but it could quickly turn your jus into a glue. Traditionally, jus is not thickened at all, that's what makes it jus, it's not a sauce. At home, cooks make jus simply by deglazing pans with water. The result is very thin but extremely flavorful. A good homemade jus is very deeply colored (almost black) and very, very intensely flavored. Restaurant-style jus, being stock based, are usually a bit more subtle.
Yeah, I wonder if the cornstarch was just a cheat for the camera. If they had actually waited to cook the lamb for real, the pan jus could have reduced sufficiently naturally while the lamb roasted and then rest (what I typically do). I agree I've always thought of a "jus" as an unthickened sauce. Eg. Prime Rib Roast au jus (which a thick sauce or gravy would ruin). Only thing is a jus is a lot harder to get that fine dining/restaurant style presentation/plating with one.
 

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