Middle Eastern Grilled Lamb Chops
By Chef John Ash
Pomegranate molasses is readily available in Middle Eastern grocery stores or on-line. Pomegranate molasses also referred to as pomegranate syrup, is a tart-sweet reduction of pomegranate juice with the consistency of maple syrup. It’s used in the cuisines of the Middle East, India, Armenia, and Georgia. Pomegranate molasses varies in taste, color, and viscosity by region. This dish is absolutely perfect with the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Prep Time 6 hours
Difficulty Level Medium
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped (for the lamb)
1 tbsp minced garlic (for the lamb)
1/4 c olive oil (for the lamb)
1-2 tsp kosher salt (for the lamb)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste (for the lamb)
1-1/2 to 3 lb rack of lamb, trimmed, frenched, and cut into 2-bone chops
2 to 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses (for the lamb)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (for the beans)
2 tbsp chopped shallots (for the beans)
4 (or more) chopped anchovies in oil (for the beans)
1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock (for the beans)
1 c beans (be generous) small cherry or pearl tomatoes
3 c cooked white heirloom beans such as Gigande (for the beans)
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (for the beans)
2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest (for the beans)
Salt to taste (for the beans)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (for the beans)
For the lamb: Whisk the rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper together. Add the lamb and turn to coat. Marinate for 4 – 6 hours refrigerated.
For the lamb: Heat a grill to medium high. Remove lamb from marinade and grill for about 5 minutes per side until nicely browned on both sides. About 3 minutes away from finishing the lamb, generously coat both sides with the molasses. Turn lamb often (with tongs, not a fork so that they will stay juicy) until lightly charred.
For the lamb: Set aside to rest for a couple of minutes and then cut each double chop into single chops if desired and serve immediately with the white beans.
For the beans: Add the olive oil to a sauté pan over moderately high heat and add the shallots and anchovies. Cook stirring until the anchovies “melt” about 2 minutes. Add a little stock, the tomatoes, beans, and basil, and heat thru. Stir in lemon zest and season to your taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.