Coffee-Cocoa-spiced Rack of Lamb
Lamb racks are seasoned with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon, roasted, and then serve with a dark sauce of coffee, cocoa, and more cinnamon. The exotic flavors are unusual yet blend together perfectly with the lamb. They would also be wonderful with duck, or pork. It is easier to carve the lamb racks into individual chops if you have the butcher cut through the backbone between the ribs.
- Spice Mixture
- Brown Sugar - 4 tablespoons
- Cinnamon - 2 tablespoons, ground
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Shallots - 3, sliced
- Brewed Coffee - 1 cup
- Brewed Espresso - 1 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1 cup
- Cinnamon Sticks - 2
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1 tablespoon
- Lamb demi glace - 4 cups (see Basics)
- Racks of lamb - 2, french trimmed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
To make the spice mixture: Blend the brown sugar and cinnamon together.
To make the sauce: In a heavy saute pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the shallots until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add one half of the spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Pour the coffee, espresso, and balsamic vinegar into the mixture and cook until reduced by half. Add the cinnamon sticks, cocoa powder, and demi glace. Reduce by half again, until a syrupy consistency. Reserve and keep warm.
To cook the lamb: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Season the racks with the remaining half of the spice mixture, salt, and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat and sear the lamb racks on all sides. Place the lamb in the oven and roast 25 minutes for medium-rare (140 F internal temperature). Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve into individual chops.
To serve: Arrange the chops on the plates and pour the sauce over them. Suggested accompaniments are braised chayote squash, garlic mashed potatoes, and plantain chips.