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A simple pomegranate wine reduction elevates succulent lamb by adding the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness to the richly flavored meat. Fresh savory rounds out the dish with its peppery and herbaceous qualities while creating a festive color combination with the bright pomegranate seeds.
Seeds from 1 pomegranate (extract these before you start cooking)
3 racks of lamb, Frenched and trimmed, about 3 pounds total
Extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated lemon zest from 2 lemons
1/2 cup pomegranate juice concentrate (see note at end)
1/2 cup red Malbec wine
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh savory leaves (use only the small leaves)
Lightly brush the lamb on all sides with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper everywhere but the two ends. Rub on the lemon zest everywhere except the membrane over the bones and the two ends. Cover the exposed bones with foil to keep them from burning. Let the lamb rest for 20 to 30 minutes while you prepare the grill and start the sauce.
Prepare the grill for indirect grilling at 500ºF.
Combine the pomegranate juice and red wine in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce, whisking frequently, to a volume of 1/4 cup. Depending upon your cookware and your cooktop, this will require 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.
Place the lamb in the indirect cooking zone with the bones facing down and pointed away from the heat. Close the hood and roast until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 135ºF (be sure to test the temperature away from the bone for an accurate reading). This should only take about 20 minutes. Transfer the racks to a carving board and let rest.
Return the pomegranate wine reduction to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar and butter until completely dissolved and combined. Be careful not to overheat the sauce, or it will turn into a caramel.
Slice the lamb into single chops and plate with sauce, savory and pomegranate seeds.
Note: Utilizing pomegranate juice concentrate cuts down on the time needed to make the sauce. The concentrate can be found in bottles alongside other pomegranate juice options in most fine markets. I use Knudsen’s, but any other concentrate that is 100% pomegranate juice and instructs a 3 to 1 water ratio should work fine. To use fresh pomegranate juice instead of concentrate, triple the amount of juice called for and plan for more time to reduce the liquid to the same volume.