Herb Crusted Crown Roast of Lamb with Rice Pilaf
2015 Ravenswood Belloni Vineyard Zinfandel Russian River Valley
Unadulterated, unapologetic, unfussy, and unwimpy. With over 40 years of Zinfandel expertise, Ravenswood has set the standard for uncompromising wines true to the places where the grapes are grown.
2 racks of lamb, frenched *I prefer the meatier domestic ones rather than the smaller New Zealand ones
8 garlic cloves, minced or grated with a microplane
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cup long grain white rice
2-3 shallots, finely chopped to make about 1 cup
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 ¼ cup water
1/2 cup lightly toasted almond slices
1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
1 tablespoons lemon zest, about 1 lemon
1/2 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds + extra for garnish
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1. Create lamb crown: Pat racks of lamb dry with a paper towel. Hold rack of lamb upright with the exposed rib bones facing upward on a cutting board. Make incisions with a knife about 1/4 of the way down the meat between the bones-this will make the racks more malleable to create the crown. Lay both racks next to each other fat side up on a cutting board end to end so they form one long horizontal line of chops with the frenched bones facing up. Grab the ends of each rack that are touching each other in the center of your cutting board and tie kitchen twine around the bones of these 2 chops to connect the racks on one end. Once connected, hold the racks upright and you can create the crown, grabbing the opposite untied ends, pulling together to form the circular crown. (It helps to have an extra set of hands to hold the crown together at this point while you continue tying. Otherwise, you can place the crown in a large bowl to help keep the shape while you continue tying) Now drag the longer end of the tied twine across the top of the crown through the middle to where the unjoined ends of the rack are and loop the twine tightly around the unjoined ribs that need to be connected to keep the crown shape. Continue dragging the twine tightly around the entire outside of the crown a few times towards the middle of the meaty part of lamb chops to secure the shape and tie the twine to the twine end from the first loop you made.
2. In a small bowl, make the herb paste by mixing the rosemary, thyme, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spread the paste evenly over the crown roast. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place crown upright in roasting pan and roast for at least 30 minutes until internal temperature reads 140 degrees for a medium rare roast. Tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, sweat shallots and rice for a few minutes until shallots start to become translucent and rice gets toasty and white, stirring constantly. If shallots start to burn turn heat down slightly.
2. Add chicken broth, water, cherries, salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with lid and turn heat down to low, simmering for about 10-15 minutes until rice is cooked through and all liquid is absorbed.
3. Let rice stand covered for 5 minutes off heat. Fluff with fork and stir in lemon zest, parsley, and almonds.
1. Platter lamb crown and spoon pilaf into center of crown.
2. For an even more dramatic presentation, garnish the bottom of the crown with long rosemary sprigs and sprinkle with extra pomegranate seeds.
Recipe Credit: Chef Sue Park