Pomegranate & Fennel Glazed Rack of Lamb
Lamb might be our favorite protein, it’s so tender and full of flavor — and yet we sometimes forget about it in between the special occasions and holidays. This simple, quick-cooking, spectacular dish had everyone in the test kitchen vowing to eat lamb more often.
The secret is the pomegranate molasses. We combine it with oregano, fennel, and olive oil to make a bold glaze. (You won’t miss the mint, we promise.) In the oven, the glaze develops a gorgeous crust and a deep sweetness that complements the lamb perfectly. The meat itself is pink, juicy, and wonderfully tender. We served the little chops atop lightly caramelized onions, charred and perfumy fennel, and fresh pomegranate seeds. On a platter, the dish looks rustic, appetizing — and deceptively fancy.
We love to make this rack of lamb for a special family dinner. The individual chops plate up very prettily, and we generally serve them with a leafy green salad and mashed sweet potatoes or polenta. For wine, we go with a lush, fruit-forward wine, like Gelson’s cabernet sauvignon — its spice and plummy black fruits will pair beautifully with the full-flavored lamb.
3 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp pomegranate molasses, divided
2 tsp fennel seeds, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced lengthwise
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 3-pound racks of lamb, rib bones frenched
2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 425°.
In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, olive oil, 3 tablespoons of the pomegranate molasses, 1 teaspoon of the fennel seeds, and salt and pepper to taste. Set the oregano mixture aside.
In a large baking dish or roasting pan, toss together the sliced fennel bulbs, onion, remaining 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds, and remaining 2 teaspoons of pomegranate molasses. Season with salt and pepper. Distribute the veggies evenly across the bottom of the pan.
Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
In a large, cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium heat. Cook 1 rack of lamb, fat side down, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn and cook until the other side is just browned, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the first rack of lamb to the baking dish with the veggie mixture, placing fat side up, and rub with half of the oregano mixture.
Wipe out the skillet and repeat steps 5 and 6 with the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, the second rack of lamb, and the remaining oregano mixture.
Roast the lamb and vegetables until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb registers 125° (for medium-rare), about 25 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, toss the vegetables in the pan drippings to coat, and continue to roast them until tender and starting to caramelize, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven, add the white wine vinegar, and toss to combine.
Serve the lamb over the vegetables and top with pomegranate seeds.
Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetít