Tamarind and Chili Barbecued Rack of Lamb with Spicy Caribbean Ratatouille
Spicy and redolent with strong tropical flavors, lamb is treated to both a rub and a basting sauce. Chef Allen’s genius shows with his take on traditional ratatouille, transformed by his clever use of South Florida and Caribbean ingredients.
- Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Fennel Seeds - 2 teaspoons
- Black peppercorns - 1 teaspoon
- Kosher salt - 2 teaspoons
- Racks of lamb - 2, (about 1 pound each), frenched
- Tamarind Pulp Concentrate - 3 tablespoons
- Ripe Mango - 1 large (about 10 ounces), peeled, pitted, and chopped
- Onion - 1 medium, diced
- Garlic - 1 teaspoon, chopped
- Fresh Ginger - 1 teaspoon, chopped
- Jalapeno Peppers - 1 small, seeded and diced
- Allspice - 1/4 teaspoon, ground
- Orange Juice - 1 cup
- Red Wine - 1/2 cup
- Molasses - 1/4 cup
- Red Wine Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil
- Spicy Caribbean Ratatouille
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Onion - 1 cup, diced
- Green Plantains - 1 small, peeled and diced
- Calabaza - 1 cup, diced (alt. Hubbard or acorn squash)
- Chayote - 1 medium, peeled and diced
- Anaheim Chili - 1 medium, seeded and deribbed, diced
- Red Bell Pepper - 1 medium, seeded and deribbed, diced
- Garlic - 1/2 tablespoon, chopped
- Cumin - 1 teaspoon, ground
- Oregano - 1 teaspoon, ground
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1 teaspoon
- Kosher salt - 1 tablespoon
- Orange Juice - 1 cup
- Rosemary Sprigs - 6
To prepare the lamb: Put the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns in a dry skillet and place over medium-high heat until the seeds toast and begin to release their fragrance. Crush the seeds in a mortar and pestle. Add the salt. Rub the lamb racks with the mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In a small saucepan, combine the tamarind pulp concentrate, mango, onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and allspice. Add the orange juice, red wine, molasses, and red wine vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and discard the vegetables; set the sauce aside.
Prepare a grill for direct heat cooking: Light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until covered with light grey ash. Or, light a gas grill according to manufacturer’s directions. Place the cooking grate on top and let it heat for a minute or two until hot.
Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and brush with olive oil. Place the lamb, fat side down, on the cooking grate. Sear over direct heat for 3 minutes, turn, and sear for another 3 minutes. Put the lamb on a platter and remove the cooking grate. Move the fire to the perimeter of the grill, and place a foil pan with 1 inch of water in the center. Replace the cooking grill and put the lamb in the center, over the foil pan. Cover, leaving the ventilation holes open, and grill over indirect heat for 25 to 30 minutes for medium-rare (145 F) or to desired degree of doneness. Half-way through the grilling time, baste the lamb with the sauce. Baste again just before it is done. Remove the lamb and place on a heated platter. Tent it with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before carving.
To prepare the ratatouille: While the lamb is cooking, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until translucent. Add each of the vegetables at 2 minute intervals, starting with the green plantain and finishing with the red bell pepper. Stir well, but do not crush the vegetables. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, pepper, and salt. Add the orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, or until tender.
To serve: Slice the lamb between each bone and place 3 chops on each warmed serving plate. Place a mound of Caribbean ratatouille on each plate. Garnish each with a rosemary sprig.