Bill was hungry Lamb Chops after he had spotted a nice rack that I had downstairs in the freezer. We recently enjoyed an unseasonably warm day in the middle of this dreadfully cold Minnesota winter. It was nearly 40 degrees outside, so I decided to take advantage of the grill and truly enjoy the wonderful flavors that come from grilling a rack of lamb!
Years ago, I really began enjoying lamb chops and the delicious simplicity of preparing them while visiting our friend Pete & Martinique a few years back at their home in Seattle. Since, I like to try them prepared in many different ways.
Although red meat is a treat and we try to limit it within our diet, it is my understanding that there is no overriding health reason to stay away from lamb. Its nutritional value is influenced by the cut, and the leanest choices include loin, shank, and leg, all of which are often comparable to beef or pork in terms of calories and fat. One advantage is that lamb tends to have less marbling than beef, so when you trim the fat around the edges after cooking, the meat ends up much leaner.
1 Lamb Rib Roast (Rack of Lamb) I get it at Costco, already “Frenched” and imported from Australia. Roughly 1.65 lbs. for just under $20)
Pinot Noir Marinade:
1 Cup Pinot Noir Wine
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 Tablespoon Thyme, dry
2 Garlic Clove, pressed
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Ground Pepper
(plus 2 Tablespoons Dark Agave Nectar)
I try to use fresh herbs whenever possible.
In a large zip lock bag, combine marinade ingredients except for the agave. Marinate in the refrigerator an hour or two. When ready to grill, remove from fridge long enough to come to room temperature.
Pour yourself a glass of the wine and enjoy while you prepare the other items for dinner! (Well, I did!)
Remove rack of lamb from marinade; reserve the marinade and add the agave nectar and set aside to use for serving
Heat grill to medium-high. Sear the lamb rack on a hot grill, fat side down for a minute or two until it is browning. Turn and do the same to the underside. Turn back to fat side and cook for about six to eight minutes, basting with the marinade.
Turn and repeat for the same amount of time, basting occasionally until meat reaches your desired temperature. (We prefer medium-rare).
Rare: 120 degrees
Medium Rare: 125 degrees
Medium 130 degrees
In the mean time, bring reserved marinade that has been mixed with agave nectar to a low simmer until it reduces by half. Add additional pinot wine if it gets too thick.
Remove rack from grill and allow to rest 10 minutes or more before carving. Slice between racks into single or double rib portions.
Drizzle the marinade over the ribs.
We enjoyed this on a bed of roasted, mashed acorn squash and a nice roasted beet salad.
We also managed to finish the remainder of the beautiful bottle of Pinot Noir!