Roast Rack of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce (Αρνίσια Παϊδάκια με Σάλτσα Κόκκινου Κρασιού)
Serves 3 – 4
I use cabernet sauvignon, or a cabernet-merlot mix, for the marinade. No matter the variety, use wine you’re willing to drink, otherwise the sauce won’t turn out well (don’t use anything labeled “cooking wine”). Be sure not to marinate the meat for longer than an hour. After that, dry red wine’s acidity (3.4 to 3.7 ph) begins to “cook” the meat and break down its texture, neither of which are desirable for tender lamb chops. The ribs in a Frenched rack of lamb are completely exposed; the blade and chine bones are removed. In Anchorage, Costco sells good quality, pre-Frenched racks of lamb.
1 8-rib rack of lamb, Frenched
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dry red wine
2 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp. butter cut in 4 pieces
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Wash the rack of lamb and remove the silver skin and as much fat as possible. Season the lamb on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a gallon-size ziplock bag or bowl large enough to hold the lamb, mix the red wine, rosemary, garlic, and shallots. Put the lamb in the bag, meat side immersed, and let marinate for 30 – 60 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove the lamb from the marinade and dry well with paper towels (don’t remove any seasoning that’s sticking to the meat).
Put the marinade in a saucepan and bring to a rapid boil. Continue to boil until the marinade is reduced by half. Strain the reduced marinade and discard the solids. Return the liquid to the saucepan, add the chicken stock, and bring to a rapid boil. Continue to boil until the sauce is reduced to 1/2 – 3/4 cup; watch carefully at the end because the sauce can go from perfect to burnt very quickly. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, one piece at a time. Taste and add salt or freshly ground black pepper, as needed.
After you first put the marinade on to boil, heat the olive oil in an oven-proof skillet. Brown the lamb, meat side down. When the meat side is nicely browned, turn the rack over and put it in the preheated oven. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on how done you like your lamb and the size of the rack. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
Cut the lamb into chops and plate. Drizzle with red wine sauce and serve immediately.