Chipotle Coffee Crusted Lamb Rack

Due to its location inside of Castilla y Leon – the breadbasket of Spain, Ribera del Duero’s culinary heritage is vast and varied. Lamb and anything off the grill play a vital role in many of the area’s famous preparations. Some of our best memories of visits to Ribera are all about impromptu vineyard bbq’s with lamb grilled over vine cuttings. In fact, Lechazo (roasted suckling lamb) from the region has its own protected designation of origin. Our friend Josh Green of Wine & Spirits wrote this wonderful piece on it when he visited us last year!

We think Chef India Johnson’s (@chefindia.co) incredible coffee crusted lamb is quite the homage to Ribera’s star pairing. Try it for a special family dinner or your next backyard grilling session.

Food Pairing Description from Chef India: 

La Planta Tempranillo 2018

This Tempranillo has a medium finish with dark tastes of cherry and cocoa. Its pairs well with grilled meats and its toasted notes are perfect with the coffee spice rub and a balsamic red wine sauce made with the Tempranillo itself. The sweet and smoky flavors make this wine perfect with the savory white sweet potato grits and sautéed vegetables.

Coffee Spice – Grind up: 

  • Coffee – 2 oz of Coffee Beans
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Cane Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Paprika – 1 teaspoon
  • Chili Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander – 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Dried Basil – 1 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg – 1 teaspoon
  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon

Marinate: 

  • 1 frenched rack of lamb
  • Add lamb and coffee spice blend to a bowl and drizzle with aged balsamic and olive oil.
  • Toss lamb with spices and oil to cover
  • Marinate overnight or at least for a few hours

Balsamic Red Wine Sauce: 

  • 1 half cup of aged balsamic
  • 1 half cup of La Planta Tempranillo
  • 1 oz cane sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • In a pan over medium heat, bring to a boil, lower heat and reduce to desired thickness.  Set aside.

Sauté: 

  • 6 shiitake mushroom caps
  • 4 cipollini onions
  • 4 stalks of purple kale
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil: 

  • 1 whole peeled white sweet potato with 5 oz of water
  • Boil down sweet potato to a puree (if it is not pureed sufficiently, pass through a ricer such as Moulinex or use a potation masher)
  • Add 5 oz of yellow corn grits and 10 oz of water
  • Cook on low until grits are thick and cooked through
  • Add 1 teaspoon of cane sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Grill: 

  • Pre heat your grill to 450 degrees
  • Grill seasoned lamb rack fat side down, on indirect heat for 15 minutes
  • Turn and cook for another 10 minutes, or until center of the lamb rack reaches 140 Degrees (check with a meat thermometer)
  • Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes

Plate: 

  • Cut lamb rack into chops
  • Add sweet potato grits to a large plate
  • Add sautéed purple kale, shiitake mushroom caps, & cipollini onions
  • Add lamb chop
  • Drizzle with balsamic red wine sauce
  • Dust with coffee spice and sea salt
  • Garnish with fresh purple kale
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