Author Notes: We decided on rack of lamb for our romantic Valentine's Day dinner a few years back. The only problem is that on the Saturday we celebrated, I was too tired from my 6 AM Advanced Skills class to actually make a homemade meal, so we ended up making do with delivery from Homemade Pizza Co., a couple bottles of wine, and Jenga instead. As I promised to my fiance on Saturday, I made the meal on Sunday and got to experiment for the first time with The Flavor Bible. It was so much fun to consider all of the different ingredients that pair well with lamb, pick my favorites, and put my new-found culinary skills to use to figure out how I would combine them all. The end result was the chocolate rubbed lamb chops served alongside polenta and sweet potatoes topped ricotta fig sauce and carrots tossed in brown butter, lemon, and pepper. —Emily Weinberger
For the Sauce
- 3 Apples of your choice, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 cup brandy
- 1 1/2 cups Chicken stock, separated
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
Spice Rub and Lamb
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the apples into bite size pieces and combine the rest of the ingredients--minus the extra 1/2 cup chicken stock-- in a small sauce pan. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the spice rub together in a small bowl. Massage the rub all over the rack of lamb (I used approximately 3/4 of the rub and saved the extra for other recipes).
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan and sear the lamb on all sides--approximately 2-3 minutes on each side until brown. Using the same pan, place a roasting rack (I used my cookie cooling rack) over top leaving the juices from searing in the bottom. Place the lamb on top and roast for 25 minutes or until 135 degrees internally.
- In a food processor, puree the apple mixture and strain through a cheese cloth and colander into another pan. Return to heat, add the remaining chicken stock, and let simmer for another 15 minutes until it thickens.
- Remove the roast from the oven, cover and set aside for 10-15 minutes. Deglaze the pan you used for roasting with the apple mixture being sure to scrape all of the drippings off the bottom so they do not burn and add flavor to the sauce. Bring to a boil.
- Carve the rack of lamb into individual chops and serve with sauce.
- If your sauce does not thicken to your liking, add 1/2 tablespoon corn starch and whisk vigorously until it dissolves. This will help thicken your sauce.