Harissa-Crusted Rack Of Lamb
MAKES 2 SERVINGS
2 dried guajillo peppers
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 Fresno chiles
4 Anaheim chiles
2 hot banana peppers
4 cloves garlic, roasted
3/4 teaspoon ground caraway, divided
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, divided
½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large rack of lamb, frenched
1/2 sourdough bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
Adjust rack to the upper position, and preheat broiler to high.
To make the harissa, remove the stem and seeds of the dried guajillos and chop into large pieces. Place in a small bowl and submerge with warm red wine vinegar to soften.
Remove stems and seeds of Fresno chiles, Anaheim chiles and banana peppers. Place in oven to char on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Add roasted chiles/peppers, roasted garlic and vinegar-guajillo mixture to a blender, along with ¼ teaspoon caraway, ¼ teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon of coriander.
Season with salt and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Puree on low, adding the remainder of the ½ cup of oil in a steady stream with the machine still running. Taste and season with additional salt and vinegar, if necessary. Reserve and refrigerate for up to a week.
Remove lamb from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
Adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Season lamb generously with salt. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s shimmering, sear lamb on all sides until golden brown, about 7 minutes total. Remove from heat and allow meat to cool for a few minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix bread crumbs with ½ teaspoon caraway, ½ teaspoon cumin, cilantro and thyme.
Slather meat with 3 tablespoons of the reserved harissa. Press bread crumbs onto the meat, taking care to coat evenly. Place meat a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until medium-rare. Allow lamb to rest 10 minutes before carving into chops. Serve immediately, alongside sauteed greens and herb-stippled couscous, quinoa or rice.
Note: Prepared harissa may be purchased at Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table and online at Amazon.com.
Adapted from Nicole Pederson, executive chef at Found Kitchen and Social House