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New Zealand Rack of Lamb with Grilled Red Pepper-almond Sauce
Impress the eye and the palate with this colorful dish—simple yet fitting for even the fanciest occasion.
- 2 New Zealand Frenched Rack of Lamb (1 pkg.)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. black pepper, ground
- 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 2 Italian plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
- 1 red bell pepper, cut in half, lengthwise, seeds removed
- 2 tsp. ancho chile powder or 1 dried ancho chile
- 1/2 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbsp. blanched almonds
- 1 piece slice of white bread, cut into small cubes
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika, sweet or hot
- 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. water
- Kosher or sea salt, to taste
- Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- Rub lamb racks with olive oil then season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. In a casserole baking dish, place tomatoes, pepper and onion slices in a single layer, drizzle with half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper—set aside.
- Preheat grill to medium high. Grill tomatoes (seed side first), bell peppers (skin side first) and onion slices until slightly charred, turn over and grill for an additional two minutes. Remove from grill, return to casserole dish, cover with foil and allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add ancho chile powder and toast while stirring with a spoon—about 30 seconds. Add olive oil, stir, then add bread cubes, almonds, garlic, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and cook until bread is lightly browned. Remove from heat and add sherry vinegar—set aside.
- Peel and seed tomatoes, skin the bell pepper and roughly chop all—place in the work bowl of a food processor or blender. Add almond mixture to work bowl. Add water to sauté pan to loosen any bits and add to work bowl and pulse briefly to blend. Add additional water to thin, if necessary. The sauce will have a slightly coarse texture. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Place the rack of lamb on grill meat side down (rib bones can be wrapped in foil to prevent burn off). Cook for 18 to 22 minutes turning every 5 minutes—while watching for flare-ups on the grill. When lamb reaches the desired doneness (internal temperature of 135°F for medium rare) transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes.
- Slice lamb racks between the ribs into chops and arrange on a platter; drizzle with olive oil and serve alongside the pepper-almond sauce.