Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rosemary-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Honey-Balsamic Reduction

Here's a great, hearty winter recipe that uses one of my favorite proteins - lamb!  And not just any lamb, but Healthy Family Farms grass-fed, tender-ass rack of lamb!  I must confess that I'm a little bit obsessed with the stuff currently.  So last week, I found myself staring at my cupboard with caveman-like thoughts on my mind.

"How do I cook these bony hunks of meat?" I grunted to myself as I rifled through my pantry.

The Monster just licked his lips and eyed the racks of lamb on the counter longingly, seeming to say, "I'd eat them raw!" I guess the Monster is more in tune with his cavedog instincts than I am!

Since raw lamb wasn't going to suffice, I settled on encrusting it with rosemary (yummers!) and making a quick reduction sauce with honey, balsamic, red wine and beef stock in the pan where I seared the lamb.  Oh, wow, this turned out so fabulous!  I know, reduction, can sound kind of scary, but this was super freaking simple and worth every ounce of effort.  The lamb held up beautifully to the rich, sweet, savory sauce, soaking up the flavors.

This dish would surely impress company, or just your boyfriend, returned from a late night at the office.  I left a plate for Kuzak with two hunks of rack of lamb served over my famous spiced rice (recipe to be posted by Meatless Monday on Monday, of course!).  I don't think he'd have thanked me as profusely if I'd told him that I rescued the Adorable Monster from the jowls of a hungry coyote. 

hunk of bony meat + honey-balsamic reduction + hungry caveman boyfriend home late from work = happiness

Don't believe me?  Test it out on the caveman in your life!  I promise you'll find that my calculations are positively flawless. 

Rosemary-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Honey-Balsamic Reduction
Serves 2 people

4 rack of lamb pieces (2 bones each) or 1 rack of lamb
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil

balsamic-honey sauce:
1 tbsp honey (preferably, a good quality raw honey)
1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar (such as, Villa Manodori)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef stock


To prepare the lamb, rub it with the rosemary, garlic and olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper on all sides.

In a saute pan, heat the grapeseed oil over high heat.  Add the lamb pieces and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook the lamb on all sides, until golden brown and cooked medium rare.  Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Note: if working with a whole rack of lamb (not just pieces), I recommend searing the lamb stove top and then finishing it in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the rack.

While the lamb is resting, prepare the sauce by draining all but 1 tsp of the fat from the saute pan where the lamb was cooked.  Over medium heat, add the honey and balsamic to the pan and whisk together.  Cook for 1 minute, then add the red wine.  Stir to combine and simmer until reduced in half.  Next, add the beef stock and simmer until reduced to a syrupy sauce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

To plate, place two pieces of lamb on a plate and drizzle with the sauce.  Enjoy!

Businesses Mentioned:

Healthy Family Farms, CSA

6780 Wheeler Canyon Rd.
Santa Paula, CA 93060

This CSA is my go to place for eggs, chicken, cornish game hens, milk-fed pork, ducks, lamb and beef!  They can be found at Farmers Markets, including the Hollywood Farmers Market where I can be found every Sunday. Their animals are all natural, grass-fed and free of antibiotics and hormones.
Meatless Monday

A nonprofit initiative associated with the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, their goal is to persuade people to go without meat one day a week!  Their fabulous website is packed with health news and meatless recipes to inspire your cooking!  CLICK HERE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE!

Source for Ingredients:

grass-fed rack of lamb from Healthy Family Farms (Hollywood Farmers Market)

organic rosemary and organic garlic from Hollywood Farmers Market

Zambezi raw organic forest honey, organic beef stock, grapeseed oil and organic olive oil from Whole Foods

Villa Manodori balsamic vinegar from Amazon


  1. looks yummy!! the lamb and rosemary sounds like a great combination.

  2. oh, it was so delicious! thanks for your comment! xoxo