Today, I’m sharing another recipe with one of my favourite meats – lamb. I like lamb in all its forms – stewed, grilled, roasted or braised. I like ground lamb for burgers, leg of lamb in the oven or shanks that get braised or Easter time…it’s whole lamb on the spit!
Grilled lamb chops are a crowd pleaser in the summer months and now that the cooler weather has arrived and home entertaining is back indoors. time to put the oven/stove back to use. One of my favourite lamb cuts are the chops…lamb loin or a whole rack of lamb.
They are pricier but worth it. You get some fat around the outside and neat where the bone is attached to the loin. Do not trim this part of rack…they are there for a reason…flavour! This rack of lamb is complemented with natural pairings of garlic, rosemary and thyme and I’m featuring my take on the oft’ made pistachio-crusted lamb.
Rack of lamb is best medium-rare to medium and I’ve also paired it with a complementary pan jus with a reduction of stock and Xinomavro wine, a Greek varietal that translates as “sour black” and this varietal is indigenous to the northern Greek regions of Amynteon and Naoussa. Swipe your lamb into the sauce that’s savory from roasted onion and shallots and some figs to sweeten the sauce a bit.
Pistachio Rack of Lamb With Xinomavro Jus
2 racks of lamb, Frenched
2 Tbsp. olive oil + 2 Tbsp. for searing
2 tsp. sweet paprika
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup unsalted chopped pistachios
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. melted butter
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup minced shallots (or red onions)
4 rehydrated dry figs, (soak in hot water for 5 minutes), halved
1/2 cup Xinomavro wine
1 cup lamb or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, mix the oil, paprika, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and rub all over the lamb racks. Cover and place in your fridge for a couple of hours. Before cooking, take of the fridge and allow 20 minutes for the meat to return to room temperature.
- In bowl, mix the pistachios, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper, butter and mix with a spoon and reserve. Pre-heat your oven to 450F.
- Place a large oven safe skillet on your stovetop over medium-high heat then add the oil and sear the fat side of the lamb until golden brown then lightly sear the other side. Remove from the heat and allow five minutes to cool. Place a sheet of foil on each rack to cover and protect the bones from burning in the oven.
- Brush mustard on the fat side of each rack. Transfer the pistachio mixture to a plate then roll press the lamb racks into the mixture to coat them. Place in your pre-heated oven along with the onion quarters (middle rack) for 8-10 minutes for medium-rare/medium. Remove from the oven (use oven mitts) and transfer to a plate and cover.
- Remove any breadcrumbs (keep onions in pan) that may have fallen into the pan. Add a olive oil, shallots, figs and sweat for 1 minute. Add the wine, stock, bay leaves and thyme and reduce to 1/3, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Remove the foil from the racks and cut down along the bones to separate the chops. Serve with a garlic mashed potato and spoon some of the sauce on the meat and around the plate. Serve with a Kir Yanni Ramnista Xinomvro.
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