Roast Rack of Lamb with Fig-Port Wine Sauce

The deeply nuanced fig-port wine sauce enhances the elegant meaty flavor of the lamb in this special-occasion dish.

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • Lamb:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (1 3/4 - 2 pound) racks of lamb, Frenched
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup ruby port
  • 12 dried black mission figs, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a large shallow baking sheet with cooking spray
  2. For the lamb: combine the oil, rosemary, garlic, mustard, and thyme in a small bowl. Rub the mixture over the entire surface of the lamb. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  3. Just before roasting, season the lamb with salt and pepper. Place one rack with the bones facing up and the meaty part of the chop facing outward on the pan. Lean the second rack on the first, again facing the meatiest part of the chop outward. Alternate the bones from each rack to interlace them. Roast 25-26 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted through the center of the meat registers 125-130°F for medium rare. Let the racks rest 5-10 minutes before cutting into chops. (The temperature of the meat will increase by another 5 degrees or so.)
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook 1 minute. Pour in the vinegar, bring to a boil and cook until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and thyme, return to a boil and cook until reduced by about half, about 3 minutes. Stir in the port, figs, and sugar; return to a boil and cook until slightly thickened and figs have plumped, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter and salt, stirring until melted. Serve over lamb.
  • Yield: 6-8 Servings


For show-stopping presentation, bring the racks out to the table, still interlaced. To serve, pull the racks apart, place them meaty side down and position your knife directly on the joint between each chop before cutting through. The sauce may be prepared up to one day ahead.