Adapted from “100 Perfect Pairings: Main Dishes to Enjoy with Wines You Love” by Jill Silverman Hough (Wiley, 2011)
Simple. Classic, Delicious. Rack of lamb is all that and more—including quite easy to prepare.
In this recipe, the garlic roasts to a mellow deliciousness, the rosemary complements with herbaceous notes, and a touch of pomegranate molasses makes it the perfect complement to a glass of Zinfandel.
To help the pairing be all it can be, don’t be too aggressive trimming the racks’ fat—that richness is a pairing plus!
- 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
- 12 cloves garlic
- 4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Two 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound racks of lamb, ideally frenched, excess fat trimmed
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils (see notes)
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the rosemary leaves, garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse to finely chop, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the pomegranate molasses and oil and pulse to make a coarse, wet paste, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange the lamb on top. Spread the paste all over the racks (including the boney side). Turn racks meaty side up, cover, and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours (see notes).
Return the lamb to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Roast the lamb uncovered until an internal thermometer reads 130°F for medium rare, loosely tenting with foil if the lamb gets too browned, about 25 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let it rest, loosely covered with foil, for 15 minutes. (It will continue to cook, reaching an internal temperature of about 140°F.)
Cut each rack into 4 double chops. Serve hot, drizzled with any accumulated juices and garnished with the rosemary sprigs and pomegranate arils.
NOTES Look for pomegranate molasses at Middle Eastern markets and specialty food stores. Pomegranate arils are the juicy “seeds” inside a pomegranate.
It’s not critical that the seasonings sit on the meat for the entire 8 to 24 hours, so don’t let that prevent you from making the recipe. It does make a difference in both taste and texture, however, so add the seasonings as far in advance as possible, even if it’s only 30 minutes.