Wide Awake Rack of Lamb with Coffee Pomegranate Cream Sauce

April 18, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 2 generously
Author Notes

This dish was inspired by a Persian Lamb dish called Fesejan, which is lamb stewed in a rich, spicy, pomegranate walnut sauce. Here, I used my favorite piece of lamb - a rack, and added a coffee / cocoa rub, and then use the roasting juices and more coffee to make a rich pomegranate cream sauce, with a hint of orange to it. The cream is a lovely, rich, tart sauce. The recipe calls for cocoa powder and espresso powder instead of crushed cacao nibs and crushed coffee beans because I found that it sticks to the meat better. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the lamb and serve with a side salad dressed with pomegranate seeds to compliment. —Burnt Offerings

What You'll Need
  • Coffee Rub for Rack of Lamb
  • 1 rack of lamb (7-8 chops, about 1+ pound), trimmed, frenched, and fat cap removed. Bring to room temperature before cooking
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large clove of garlic, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder, I use Ghirardelli
  • 1 teaspoon instant Espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons Grapeseed or canola oil - need an oil with a high smoking temp. Don't use olive oil.
  • Coffee Pomegranate Cream Sauce
  • 1 cup freshly brewed French Roast coffee
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Heat the oven to 400' and use a skillet with an oven proof handle. If you're not using a non stick skillet, you may want to use a TBL of oil instead of 2 tsp.
  2. Mash the garlic, salt and sugar into a paste in a mortar and pestle. Add the cocoa, espresso, and orange zest, and create a thick paste. If the paste is too dry, add a drop or two of vegetable oil.
  3. Rub the lamb with the coffee/cocoa paste all over, pressing it into the rack of lamb.
  4. Place the rack upright in the skillet with the rib side down, and place into the oven to roast until it reaches an internal temp of 140-145' for medium rare - about 20-25 minutes.
  5. When the lamb is done, remove it from the skillet to a plate or carving board to rest at least 10-15 minutes, while you make the sauce.
  6. In the lamb skillet, over medium heat, deglaze the skillet with the coffee, stirring up any roasted bits.
  7. Add the brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, orange juice and zest. Stir well to dissolve and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat and reduce the sauce to 1/2 its volume at a gentle simmer.
  9. Once the coffee syrup has reduced, add the salt, pepper, cream and any accumulated juices from the resting lamb, adjust seasonings as needed. Let simmer for another 3-5 minutes or so until slightly thickened.
  10. Slice lamb and pour sauce over. Scattered pomegranate seeds on top gives some nice crunch.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • wssmom
  • lorigoldsby
  • Fairmount_market
  • TiggyBee
  • gingerroot

14 Reviews

wssmom April 21, 2011
Two enthusiastic thumbs up! If I make it to the market in time, this will be Easter dinner ....
lorigoldsby April 20, 2011
I'm one of those 'weird" people that doesn't like coffee...but i love new ways to prepare lamb. It doesn't sound like the coffee would be the top note of the meat? I may lower the amount of the coffee in the sauce. This may find its way into my rotation next week. Let us know about your "tweaks".
Burnt O. April 20, 2011
I altered the technique a bit. Instead of searing the lamb first - just roast it, otherwise, the rub can get charred and bitter, instead of rich and roasted. I also made a wet paste out of the rub ingredients instead of a dry rub.
Fairmount_market April 20, 2011
This sounds delicious. I also experimented with coffee and lamb and was amazed by what a great pairing they make!
TiggyBee April 18, 2011
Oh gosh...any chance for a picture? Sounds great!!
Burnt O. April 18, 2011
Absolutely - I'm making it tomorrow to shoot, and may tweak some things along the way.
TiggyBee April 18, 2011
hmmm...scratching my head on what you're going to tweak. can't wait!! sounds pretty nice as is-
gingerroot April 18, 2011
I was excited to see what would come out of your the flavors you have here, this sounds amazing!
Burnt O. April 18, 2011
You are so sweet Jen - thanks!
fiveandspice April 18, 2011
Wow! I've had lamb slow cooked with cocoa and wine before but no coffee. That shall have to be remedied! This sounds awesome.
boulangere April 18, 2011
Love the title!
aargersi April 18, 2011
I. Love. Lamb. This sounds fabulous.
Burnt O. April 18, 2011
Thanks! I'm making it again tomorrow and may tweak it some more.
Sagegreen April 18, 2011
A divine yum.