Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Perfect Pair: Spice-Rubbed Rack of Lamb

For almost a year now, I've been the DC Lambassador and Supper Club host for the Tri-Lamb Group supper club series.  The Tri-Lamb Group is a collaborative initiative of lamb producer organizations from the U.S., New Zealand and Australia which focuses on educating Americans about lambFor the fourth supper club, I made a Spice-Rubbed Rack of Lamb paired with Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino.

The Dish:  Spice-Rubbed Rack of Lamb
This was my first time cooking rack of lamb, but it will not be my last.  Not only is it nutritious, but it is very simple to make.  Lamb: Its Place in the U.S. Diet, is an excellent resource for nutritional information.  On average, a 3-ounce serving of lamb is lean, has only 175 calories.  It's an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc and selenium and a good source of iron and riboflavin.  Amazing!
The Pairings:  Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino
This Brunello di Montalcino is obtained with clones of Sangiovese selected after 20 years of research on this unique grape and is aged in French oak barrels.  It is absolutely delicious and pairs wonderfully with the lamb. 

The Recipe:

1 tablespoon cumin 
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coffee, finely ground
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (8-bone; 24-to 26-ounce) racks of lamb
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with back of knife

Preheat oven to 400°F. 

Whisk cumin, cocoa powder, coffee, and pepper. 

Sprinkle both sides of lamb with kosher salt, then rub with spice mixture. 

In heavy, braising pan over high heat, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Sear rack, meat side down, moving occasionally to prevent sticking, until deep golden brown and crust forms, about 2 minutes. Flip to sear underside in same manner, about 2 minutes, then sear bottom of rack in same manner, 2 minutes more. 

Flip rack back to meat side up, then transfer pan to oven and roast 7 minutes. Add butter and garlic to pan and continue roasting until thermometer inserted 2 inches into thickest part of lamb (do not touch bone) registers 130°F (for medium rare), 7 to 8 minutes more. Allow to rest for 10 minutes and slice chops to plate.  Serve immediately.
We served the lamb with Brandy Smash made with Germain-Robin. 
The results:  a delicious lamb feast to be enjoyed by my supper club guests.  
For sides we started with an Arugula, Avocado and Blood Orange Salad.  I also made a bacon, mushroom and caramelized onion flat bread and white asparagus with lemon and butter
For dessert, we ended with some Dolci Gelati paired with the Banfi Rosa Regale.
Try this delicious spring lamb meal at home soon!

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