Rack of lamb works great with many side dishes. This rack, cut into double thick chops works especially well with polenta. Polenta originated in Northern Italy as an everyday porridge. It was especially common during the winter months as it was inexpensive, easy to store, and provided valuable calories. Today, polenta is enjoyed all over the world in many menus in the place of bread or pasta. Cornmeal polenta is the most common variety in the U.S. but historically it is a dish made from a variety of coarsely ground grains or starches depending upon availability. Cornmeal, farro, millet, spelt, chestnut flour, chickpea flour, or coarse ground rice are a few of the many grains used traditionally.
This recipe is by chef Ben Spangler. Hailing from Minnesota, Ben draws from his Midwestern roots to create dishes that are unpretentious and delicious. Ben has competed on national television for the Food Network and appeared on local Minneapolis food networks. He is currently executive chef at Mercy in Minneapolis.
Full or half rack of lamb
1 cup of polenta
4 cups of water
2 oz tarragon
1 green apple
1 Orange for zest
2 oz Romano or Pecorino cheese (shaved into thin slices)
Salt and pepper
- Bring water and 1 tsp salt to a boil in a heavy, larger saucepan. Gradually add polenta, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until polenta is thick and creamy, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes.
- Mince the tarragon
- Cut apple into large chunks & drizzle with oil.
- Grill apple chunks until well-marked by the grill on all sides, then remove from heat.
- Dice the grilled apple then add 1 oz of minced tarragon, orange zest and olive oil.
Rack of Lamb
- Cut the lamb rack into double (2 ribs each) or single chops (1 rib each).
- Season chops with salt and pepper then drizzle with olive oil.
- Grill chops at a medium heat allowing each side to caramelize evenly.
- Remove from heat at medium rare (130-135 °F)
- Season polenta with salt and pepper and stir in slices of Romano or Pecorino cheese and 1 oz minced tarragon.
- Plate the polenta and grilled lamb rib chops. Drizzle with oil and cheese. Top with apple salsa and serve.
Short Clip: Cutting Double Chops