Mustard & Herb Crusted Lamb w/ Pomegranate Glaze

I was watching Gordon Ramsey’s show like a year ago and he made what looked like a really badass rack of lamb. As many times as I’ve made lamb myself, I have to say I’d been paying it safe flavor-wise. I usually season them with salt & pepper, sear or broil them in a pan with fresh garlic and rosemary–that’s about it. Although this simplicity is still a winner, I’ve always wanted to elevate lamb chops but never got around to coming up with something new. So when I saw Gordon make these, I decided to remix his routine and add a little creative touch of my own.

SO here’s what he did. He scored and seared the rack of lamb just enough to get a brown crust on the back. He then brushed a generous coating of dijon mustard over it on both sides, then packed on a herb/parmesan/breadcrumb crust. The chops were then sent to the oven to finish cooking. I tried this almost exactly the same way he did it, but added some garlic, mint and thyme to the blended herb mixture for even more flavor. Once out of the oven I let them slightly cool for about five minutes and then sliced the rack into individual chops. Biting into one threw me for a loop because I wasn’t expecting to be able to taste every flavor at once and I definitely did. I’m telling you–I was thoroughly impressed. Oh, and keep in mind that some folk like their lamb cooked longer than others. I like mine the same as my steak (medium rare) but I know that others sometimes prefer lamb cooked more so to medium or medium well. If thats the case, you can slice one off the rack to gage the internal temperature, and if needed return to the oven. I even like cutting them when their still vastly pink in the middle, then giving each a quick sear in a stove top pan with a little olive oil…for added crispness and a quicker finish.

What Gordon didn’t include in his recipe was a reduction. I almost always have a sauce on standby to accompany roasted chicken breast, steaks and other chops. One of my favorite tag-a-longs for lamb is a pomegranate glaze. It takes no time to make. A 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, a cup of pomegranate juice, a mint leaf, a dash of corn starch and a half cup of pomegranate juice is about all you need. If you aren’t a fan of pomegranates for some odd reason or just can’t seem to find them, you can also go for raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. Oh, and do yourself a favor and find the pomegranates that are already gutted from the shell. They are usually in the produce section where groceries offer fruit that is already chopped and packaged. Nonetheless, sauce or not–these lamb chops rock. Be sure to let me know how they work out!

Ingredients:

  • 2 rack of lamb (about 5-6 bones on each)
  • 3 tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 8 tablespoons of grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig of mint
  • 2 springs of rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of coriander
  • Olive oil

Pomegranate reduction:

  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice (fresh pressed or concentrate)
  • 1 mint leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.

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Directions for Lamb:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit

2. Score the fatty back of the meat with a sharp knife then generously season with salt     and pepper.

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3. Coat the base of a skillet with olive oil and bring it to medium-high heat. Place the rack of lamb into the pan for about three minutes, or long enough to get a nice brown crust. Then remove from heat.

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4. In a blender or processor, add all of the herbs and garlic together. Blend enough so that everything is finely chopped, then add the breadcrumbs, coriander and grated parmesan cheese to the mixture.

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5. Cut the lamb chops into three’s—three bones connected (optional, can roast whole slab) and coat both sides of the racks with the dijon mustard.

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6. Generously pack the herb mixture onto both sides of the lamb.

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7. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

8. Once out of the oven, allot five minutes to slightly cool, then cut lamb as desired.

** If lamb is not cooked to preferred temperature, simply return to oven for a few minutes more

Directions for Pomegranate Glaze:

  1. Add everything besides the tablespoon of water and cornstarch to a small saucepan over medium heat for 5-8 minutes.
  2. In a small cup, mix together the cornstarch and water.
  3. Once the reduction has slightly reduced, add in the cornstarch/water mixture and stir.
  4. Remove from heat and allow it a few minutes to thicken before serving with the lamb.

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