Lamb chops seasoned to perfection with a crusty exterior and cooked to a rosy pink are just about as good as it gets. And with a ready supply of lamb racks at my local meat counters and supermarkets, this Rack of Lamb with Blackberry Wine Sauce is a recipe that can be served on my dinner table all year long.
Not sure why, but I don’t eat lamb often; I guess it’s a South Louisiana thing. Steak, yes; pork, definitely; wild game, occasionally, but lamb doesn’t make the Cajun playlist on a frequent basis. It seems that most folks in these parts think of it as a special occasion dish. But with this recipe for Rack of Lamb with Blackberry Wine Sauce, I’m out to change that. So, here’s the deal: I’ve added local flavors to this recipe to give it a down-home appeal, and I’ve elevated the flavor profile with a sauce that brings home a Southern sensitivity to the palate.
I love the kick of heat that Creole mustard brings to the coating for this rack. And when dusted with fresh bread crumbs infused with herbaceous, fresh rosemary, a hit of my house-made seasoning blend, and mellow grated Parmesan, it brings enormous flavor to the crust on these chops.
Lamb racks are quite easy to prepare with much of the work (Frenching the bones is tedious) done in advance by the processor or butcher. And the resulting plate presentation when sauced with a puddle of blackberry wine reduction is applause worthy in every way.
Give this Rack of Lamb with Blackberry Wine Sauce recipe a try and see how delicious (and easy) a rack of lamb can find its way on your Acadiana table.
- I cup blackberry wine
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- Salt, to taste
- 2 (1-pound) lamb racks (about 8 bones each), bones Frenched, excess fat and membrane trimmed
- Olive oil
- ½ cup Creole mustard or spicy brown mustard
- ½ cup pulverized bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup fresh blackberries
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- In a saucepan over high heat, bring the wine to a boil. Cook until most of the alcohol burns off, and it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the water, pepper, and garlic. Add the fresh blackberries, and with the tines of a fork, mash some of the berries to break them down. Continue cooking until the berries soften, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, add the cornstarch with a tablespoon of cold water; stir to make a slurry. Gradually, add the cornstarch mixture and whisk until the sauce thickens to coat the back of a spoon. If too thick, add a bit more water. Whisk in the butter and taste; add salt if necessary. Turn off the heat and keep the sauce warm until serving.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Remove the lamb from the package and with a sharp knife remove any excess fat or membrane. Coat all sides of the lamb with olive oil and place in a hot skillet over medium-high heat. Brown on both sides and the ends, and remove to a platter to cool down.
- In a large platter, add the bread crumbs, Cajun seasoning, chopped rosemary, and grated cheese. Mix to incorporate evenly.
- Once the racks are cool, rub the meat on both sides with mustard. Roll the meat in the dry mixture until coated on both sides and ends. Place the racks on a metal baking tray and roast until the internal temperature reaches 130ºF, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Using a sharp carving knife slice the lamb rack. I like to carve the chops into double-bone servings. (Note: Slice single-bones if you are serving them as a buffet item or a pass-around hors d'oeuvre.)
- For serving, pool the sauce in the center of an individual plate and position two lamb chops on top. Garnish with a few fresh blackberries and a sprig of rosemary.
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