Olive Crusted Lamb Rack with Red Wine-Grape Reduction

Featured in May 2009 Newsletter.
Recommended Pairing: Malbec, Meritage, Nebbiolo, 2008 Syrah

Sauce:
2 cups halved seedless red grapes
2 cups Meritage
2 cups teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

Crust and Lamb:
½ kalamata olives, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small garlic clove
8 ounces ground lamb
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 racks of lamb
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs

Sauce Ingredients: Boil all ingredients in large saucepan until reduced to 2 1/3 cups, about 20 minutes. Puree in blender. Keep warm.

Lamb Ingredients: Pulse olives, chopped rosemary, oil, and garlic clove in a food processor until olives are chopped. Transfer to bowl. Mix in ground lamb, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Sprinkle racks of lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 rack, meat side down, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Set on rimmed baking sheet, meet side up. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining rack; reserve skillet. Cool lamb completely.

Add ½ cup broth to skillet. Boil until reduced to a glaze, scraping up browned bits. Add to wine-grape sauce. Cover and chill. Spread each rack with 1 tablespoon mustard. Press olive mix over top of each rack (layer will be thin).

Preheat oven to 425 ° F. Combine breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 tablespoons mustard in a medium skillet. Toss over medium heat until beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Press crumbs over each rack. Cut through crumb crust (not lamb) between bones to score. Roast until thermometer inserted into center registers 135° F, about 30 minutes for medium-rare.


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