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Oven-roasted lamb rack salad with couscous, fennel, mint, and tomatoes

Chef, Lenny Redé
Wine Pairings:   Cinsault

Grenache

Savvy match: Lamb is a versatile meat whose character is influenced as much by its cut as preparation, and this hearty, oven-roasted dish is a dynamic wine pairing with Grenache. Succulent and tender, lamb favors the resinous thyme, rosemary, and oregano of the herbs de Provence echoed in Grenache’s natural aromas. Wine lovers should note that grazing sheep in the vineyard has become part of regenerative farming practices to improve soil health and grape quality. That’s taking wine pairing seriously!

Grenache may be as versatile and unheralded as lamb for some wine drinkers. Native to the warm climate of the Southern Rhone, Grenache is a prominent player in those wines and in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Garnacha in Spain and Cannonau in Sardinia, the western United States, has also become a place to find fantastic Grenache wines. 

For those hesitant about lamb and Grenache, this easy preparation is the ideal place to start your adventure with both. 

 

Ingredients

*Instant Read Thermometer, Cast Iron Pan  
  • 2 lamb racks with 8 ribs each (3 to 4 pounds total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 sprigs rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup couscous
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  •  A few dashes Tabasco
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups boiling water
  • 1 small shallot, julienned
  • 1 large fennel bulb with fronds, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup black olives
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 bunches fresh mint, picked clean
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes cut into wedges
  • Salad greens

Steps

1.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack over the top.

2.

Heat oven to 275 degrees F.

3.

Clean lamb rack of fat cap and extra silver skin.

4.

Rub lamb with olive oil, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.

5.

Place lamb on a rack and place into a 275-degree F oven for 45 – 60 minutes.

6.

Prep couscous and fennel salad (see below).

7.

Remove when the internal temperature reads 125 degrees F and let it rest for 15 minutes.

8.

Heat a cast iron pan to medium high heat, sear the lamb in cast iron pan 1 minute per side.

9.

When the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F, slice the rack and set aside.

10.

For couscous:

Combine dry couscous with everything but boiling water. Stir until combined then add boiling water and cover. Rest 20 minutes. Stir to fluff.

11.

For fennel salad:

Cut the fennel bulb in quarters lengthwise. Trim most of the core away from each section, leaving a portion in place to help hold the slices together. Using a sharp knife or mandolin, thinly slice the fennel bulbs into delicate thin pieces. Finely dice some of the fennel fronds and set aside.

12.

To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and kosher salt in a mixing bowl until emulsified.

13.

Toss the fennel with shallot and mint.

14.

On a large serving platter place couscous in the center, add greens, top with fennel salad, place tomatoes and lemons around the plate and top with the sliced roasted lamb racks.

Chef Image

About Chef, Lenny Redé

Restaurateur, Chef, Wine Steward, and Educator

Leonard Redé brings a unique blend of culinary and wine expertise to everything he does. An award-winning Pastry Chef, his desserts have graced the tables of Presidential State Dinners for Bill Clinton, he has presented High Tea to the late Princess Diana and created gilded birthday cakes for the Sultan of Brunei. He was nominated for educator of the year when he was a Chef Instructor at the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. He loves to share his passion for all things gastronomic and he’ll gladly help you navigate the world of wine and is always quick with a wine pairing or recipe.