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Grilled Rack of Lamb with Honey-Pasilla Glaze


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  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 6 (about 2 ounces total) dreid pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into flat pieces
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, preferably fresh ground
  • 1/8 tsp. cumin, preferably fresh ground
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar (balsamic is preferred)
  • Salt
  • 2 lamb racks (each should have 8 rib bones and weigh about 1 3/4 to 2 pounds) trimmed of excess fat and "frenched" if you prefer
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 About 1/4 cup grated Mexican queso anejo or another garnishing cheese like Romano or Parmesan
  • Flat leaf parsely, for garnish


Servings 4
Preparation time 120mins
Cooking time 150mins


Step 1

1. Make the pasilla marinade: Roast the unpeeld garlic on one side of a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until soft and blackened in spots, about 15 minutes; cool and peel. While the garlic is roasting, toast the chile peices a few at a time on the other side of the skillet, pressing them down firmly with a spatula for a few seconds until they release a toasty aroma, then flipping them, and pressing down the other side. Scoop the chiles into a small bowl, cover with hot tap water and let rehydrate 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup of the soaking water.
In a food processor or blender, combine the chiles, the reserved soaking liquid, garlic, oregano, pepper, cumin, honey, vinegar and 1 tsp. salt. Blend to a smooth puree, scraping down and stirring frequently. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a small bowl.

2. Marinate the meat: Lay the meat in a baking dish. Smear both sides of the racks with about 1/3 of the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, if time permits.

3. Make the salsa: Stir enough water into the remaining marinade to give it drizzleable consistency; it usually takes at least 1/4 cup. Cover and set aside at room temperature (or refrigerate if not using within a couple of hours).

4. Grill the meat as desired, flipping once.

5. Serve: It's best to let the meat rest a few minutes to reabsorb the tasty juices. Then slice the chops between the bones. Drizzle a little of the salsa on each of four warm dinner plates and sprinkle with the onion. Arrange the meat over the top and sprinkle with the cheese and parsely leaves.

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