One of the best things about the holidays is that everything feels extra special -- a time to break out your most treasured and festive pieces and pop open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving.
We’ve partnered with Weston Table, an online marketplace of everyday extraordinary home goods, to share several seasonal food & wine pairings. They’re in charge of the menu and décor, and we’re bringing the wine. For this first dish, our Wine Director, Brett Vankoski, selected our new Lot 201 Pauillac Grand Vin de Bordeaux-Médoc to pair with renowned chef Gordon Hamersley’s Rack of Lamb.
Read on for the recipe for Hamersley’s Rack of Lamb, and shop the beautiful home goods used to prepare and serve this dish at WestonTable.com. And for this Collector Series Bordeaux, and more amazing wines, visit ninetypluscellars.com.
Stay tuned for more seasonal recipe pairings from 90+ Cellars and Weston Table!
Photo courtesy of Weston Table.
Recipe: Hamersley’s Rack of Lamb
For 27 years, Gordon Hamersley and his wife Fiona welcomed guests to their Boston institution, Hamersley’s Bistro. Their roast chicken (who orders chicken when fine dining?) has a cult following, but it is this lamb dish plate that was the darling of the menu. Gordon Hamersley retired and this South End gem closed its doors forever in October 2014. Since then, we have made this lamb every year at the holidays. The smokiness of the dried ancho chile, the heat of the curry powder, the sweetness of the dates, and the well, nuttiness of the almonds merry into a paste with a decadent depth of flavor. A simple green salad and a luscious Bordeaux wine such as Pauillac from Ninety Plus Cellars, are all that is needed for a celebratory meal with friends and family gathered together to enjoy a feast that satisfies all of the senses.
Photo courtesy of Weston Table.
KITCHEN NOTES: The paste may be made in advance and refrigerated with cling film pressed to the surface to avoid drying out. Founder Kevin Mehra of 90+ Cellars concept of private labeling some of the world's best wines in order to offer them at a reduced price to consumers is genius. Wine Director Brett Vankoski helped us choose a Collector's Series Bordeaux (under $40!) with a luscious, dense, dark fruit aroma to pair with this recipe. Pronounced black currant aromas emerge from the glass followed by more gentle notes of cedar, toasted wood and coffee grounds. The wine is full but well balanced featuring fresh, ripe black fruit and fine tannins which add structure and refinement that heightens the flavors and nuances in this recipe.
1 ancho chile, stem and seeds removed
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
12 dates, pitted and chopped
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Two 7 or 8 bone lamb racks, frenched
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whole mint leaves for garnish
- Soak the chile in hot water until softened, about 15 minutes. Chop the chile coarsely. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the curry powder. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is browned, about 20 minutes.
- Put the onion, ancho chile, dates, and sherry vinegar in the bowl of a food processor and process until a paste forms. Transfer the paste to a bowl, mix in the almonds and the chopped mint, and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Season the lamb all over with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Brown the lamb, one rack at a time, meat side down first. Turn and brown the other side. Remove the lamb from the pan, but do not clean the pan.
- Allow the lamb to cool for a few minutes. Set aside ¼ cup of the chile-date mixture. Spread a thin layer of the chile-date on the meat side of each rack of lamb.
- Arrange the lamb in a roasting pan, preferably one with a rack, with the chile-date mixture facing up. Roast the lamb until a meat thermometer registers 130 degrees for medium rare (15 to 20 minutes). Remove the lamb to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes.
- Pour off any excess fat from the sauté pan. Add the chicken broth to the pan and cook over high heat, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the broth is reduced by half. Add the reserved 1/4 cup chili-date mixture to the sauce and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Slice the lamb rack into one or two bone chops, and serve 3 to 4 chops per person. If you cut the chops apart, be careful not to let too much of the date crust fall off the meat.
- Spoon some of the sauce around the chops and garnish with whole mint leaves. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
This recipe originally appears on Weston Table.