Roasted Moroccan Lamb and Carrots with Grilled Lettuce
Served at the Cellar Club Event on April 24th, 2010
This is an adaptation from Vino d'Enrico Bernardo, a Paris restaurant with a high profile wine list. It is served there with chickpea purée, but I prefer grilled hearts of romaine for a lighter touch.
Yield: Four Servings
Recommended Wine: Bethel Heights 2008 Estate Pinot Noir
For Lamb and Carrots
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1 t ground allspice
- 1/2 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t cayenne
- 6 medium carrots, halved crosswise and quartered lengthwise
- 8 to 12 lamb rib chops, 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick Note: I buy a French—style rack with 7 or 8 ribs, trim it of excess fat, and then cut between each rib, giving you individual chops with a nice bone handle!
For Grilled Romaine
I use packaged "hearts of romaine" — usually three in a package.
Cut each heart into two pieces lengthwise, leaving stem intact so lettuce holds together on grill. Brush with olive oil and grill over medium heat, turning several times, until lettuce is soft and chars just slightly. Dust with salt and pepper, and drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar and some of the roasting pan juices.
Roasting chops and Carrots: Place a large baking dish with sides in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Whisk together oil, spices and 1 ts salt. Toss carrots with half of spiced oil and coat chops with remainder. Arrange carrots in roasting pan and roast 5 minutes. Stir carrots and move to one side. Place chops in the roasting pan on the bottom, and toss carrots over the top and around the meat. Return to oven. In four minutes, turn meat and stir carrots as much as possible. Cook another 4 minutes. Meat should be bright pink — medium rare. Carrots crisp tender. Assume 8 minutes for lamb and 13 minutes for carrots. Remove to serving platter with romaine alongside, or on a separate dish. Drizzle juices from pan over all.
An easy dish to assemble and cook with guests looking on and getting hungry, while enjoying appetizers and a glass of '07 Gewurztraminer, the sleeper white of our '07 vintage.