Rack of Lamb with Blueberry/Shiraz sauce
— from the kitchen of Elisabeth Huff-Lonergan (MS ’91 animal science, PhD ’95 ), professor animal science
One rack of lamb
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
12 3-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red onion finely diced
2 cups Shiraz wine,
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons pure Canadian maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
6 sprigs fresh thyme, about 1 tablespoon chopped
1, 2-inch sprig fresh rosemary leaves, leaves only
Prepare marinade by combining first eight ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and whisking until incorporated.
Cut each rack of lamb into two even portions of three or four ribs each. Pour marinade over lamb, making sure to coat all the meat on top and bottom. A large oven roasting bag works well for this. Allow to marinade at least 1 hour, and as long as overnight.
Meanwhile, prepare reduction sauce as follows: Heat oil in sauté pan at medium-high heat. Sauté onions about two minutes until golden brown: do not allow to burn (reduce heat if necessary). Add wine, broth, two cups blueberries, maple syrup, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and pepper. The mixture should come to a boil fairly quickly. Continue to gently boil, reducing heat if necessary, until liquid becomes thicker and reduced in volume. This process should take about five minutes, but could take more or less time. It is important to watch closely and to stir frequently, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. When the sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat and strain the liquid into a glass measuring cup, pressing down on the blueberries with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid into the sauce as you can. Discard the solids and return liquid to pan, but not to the heat at this time. (Note: This step can be done up to a day ahead of time and the sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator.)
Remove the lamb from the marinade and grill, meaty-side down on a medium heat grill. Watch for flare-ups and move lamb to cooler section of the grill if necessary, or reduce heat slightly. Cook until internal temperature reaches 130 F, for medium-rare. Allow to rest for five to ten minutes before slicing into individual ribs, making sure to retain and reserve any juices that run out. (Alternatively, you can pan sear the lamb and then finish in a 400°Foven if you do not want to grill it.)
While lamb is sitting, return blueberry sauce to the medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add reserved 1/4 cup of blueberries and reserved lamb juices and continue to cook for about a minute. If sauce becomes too thick, add another dash of wine or broth and cook until desired consistency: if it is too thin, reduce it further. Sauce should be thin enough to pour but thick enough that it will not run.
This marinade and would work well for pork also.