Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Pomegranate Sauce
Pomegranate juice is readily available in local supermarkets. You can, however, substitute any unsweetened dark juice, such as cranberry, cran-apple, or even a good ruby port wine. If you do use pomegranate juice, this dish looks very festive garnished with pomegranate seeds when they are in season.
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Taste and Texturemeaty, savory, sweet
- 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, divided
- 3/4 cup dry red wine, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Leaves from 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 8-rib rack of lamb (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup beef broth
- Juice of 1 large lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Soak the plank for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Combine 1/2 cup of the pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup of the wine with the oil and rosemary in a large glass baking dish. Add the lamb and turn it to coat both sides with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning the lamb occasionally. Let the lamb sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
To make the sauce, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of pomegranate juice and 1/2 cup of wine, and the beef broth, lemon juice, jam, mustard, rosemary. and thyme and cook until the sauce is reduced by half and almost syrupy, about 20 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
Prepare the plank for grilling according to the instructions on (see Notes). Place the lamb on the toasted side of the plank. Close the lid and grill for 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135 degrees F for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, tent it with foil, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the lamb into double chops. To serve, spoon the sauce onto individual serving plates, place the lamb chops on top, and garnish with the rose. mary sprigs.
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Soaking the Plank
Start by using a clean, untreated piece of wood. Most of the wood planks sold in stores are 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Be sure to choose a plank that allows at least a 1-inch border around the food you are preparing. No matter the size, plan on soaking your plank for at least one hour, and up to twenty-four hours. This important step adds moisture that helps the wood to resist burning, which prolongs the use of your plank.
Place the plank in a kitchen sink, cooler, glass or ceramic baking dish, or any container large enough to fit it for soaking.
Soak the plank in water, or if you feel like being creative, try adding some white wine, beer, salt, or apple, berry, or citrus juice to the water.
Keep the plank submerged with something heavy, like a brick, so it stays weighted down during soaking.
Preheating the Plank
Preheating the plank before grilling is an important step. With woods like maple, oak, cherry, and alder, the plank will often begin to warp when placed over heat (cedar does not usually warp). Preheating the plank will control the warping, kill any bacteria on the cooking surface, and impart a more intense flavor to the food.
Before preheating the plank, have a spray bottle with water handy to smolder any flames if flare-ups occur.
For a gas grill, preheat your grill to medium-high, or about 400 degrees F. For a charcoal grill, prepare your grill for indirect cooking: Fill a chimney starter (charcoal chimney) to the top with charcoal. Light the charcoal and let it burn until half of the coals are glowing. Spread the coals onto half of the bottom of the grill, leaving the other side without coals (this is called the “indirect method”). Place the grill lid on top and fully open the top and bottom vents. If your grill does not have a thermometer, place a grill thermometer through one of the vent openings and let it sit for 5 minutes to get an accurate reading. If the grill gets too hot, close the vents partially and let the temperature adjust. Continue making adjustments to the vent openings until the grill reaches a consistent temperature of 400 degrees F.
For optimum smoke and wood flavor, place the plank 8 to 12 inches above the flame and close the grill lid. I prefer to place a plank on the warming rack of my gas grill for preheating and grilling. It takes a little longer to get it lightly toasted and get some smoke going (8 to 10 minutes), but it reduces the number of flare-ups so that you will get more uses out of the plank. If the plank is placed closer to the flame, you should see some light smoke after 3 to 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on the grill if the plank is closer to the flame.
Once you see some light wisps of gray smoke emanating from the grill, open the grill lid and flip the plank over. If the plank has not bowed, you are ready to begin grilling. If warping occurs, close the lid again and continue preheating another minute or two until the plank flattens out. Continue flipping and heating the plank one or two more times until warping is controlled.
2014 Dana Guillen