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
Coffee Rub for Rack of Lamb
rack of lamb (7-8 chops, about 1+ pound), trimmed, frenched, and fat cap removed. Bring to room temperature before cooking
large clove of garlic, smashed
unsweetened cocoa powder, I use Ghirardelli
instant Espresso powder
fresh orange zest
Grapeseed or canola oil - need an oil with a high smoking temp. Don't use olive oil.
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.
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.
Rub the lamb with the coffee/cocoa paste all over, pressing it into the rack of lamb.
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.
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.
In the lamb skillet, over medium heat, deglaze the skillet with the coffee, stirring up any roasted bits.
Add the brown sugar, molasses, bourbon, orange juice and zest. Stir well to dissolve and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and reduce the sauce to 1/2 its volume at a gentle simmer.
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.
Slice lamb and pour sauce over. Scattered pomegranate seeds on top gives some nice crunch.