Grilled Rack of Lamb with Portabella Bourguignon

Inspiration: I have a wonderful husband. Last week, B told me that he wanted to make a special supper for me on Friday night. He picked out the entire meal and cooked everything himself while I relaxed after work. I came downstairs to this wonderful surpise. He is the sweetest person.

What we Loved: I felt like I was out at our favorite fancy restaurant while I was eating this. It was so good. B made a version of a bourguignon sauce from Smitten Kitchen that used portabellas as the base, then he topped it with rosemary-crusted grilled lamb. The sauce was incredibly rich, and it had so many different flavors from the mushrooms, the onions, the wine, and the spices. I really loved the flavor that the red wine gave the sauce, and it was perfect to enjoy a glass of that same wine alongside the meal. The lamb tasted wonderful with a nice char on the outside and a perfectly moist texture on the inside. B served this with a loaf of crusty bread to dip into the extra sauce, some skewers of grilled zucchini, squash, and bell peppers, and a bottle of wine. I’ve got to say that I think it was the best dinner that I’ve ever had.

Helpful Hints: Resist the urge to flip the lamb more than once after you put it on the grill. This will allow the lamb to get nice and charred, which really lends a great flavor to the meat. Though you traditionally use a burgundy wine in a bourguignon recipe, B used a cotes du rhone to pair better with the flavor of the lamb. We both thought that it was perfect.

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Portabella Bourguignon
Source for the bourguignon: Smitten Kitchen
Source for the rest of the meal: original recipe

B omitted the carrots and the pearl onions from the bourguignon sauce, but otherwise made it as written. The recipe for the entire meal follows.

For the Portabella Bourguignon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 pounds portobello mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup full-bodied red wine
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a  heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken but haven’t yet lost any liquid, approximately three to four minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan.

2. Lower the heat to medium, and add the second tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onions, thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper into the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.

3. Add the wine to the pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to high, and reduce the mixture by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the beef broth. Add the mushrooms and any juices that have collected back into the pan. Once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are very tender.

4. Combine the remaining butter and the flour with a fork, and stir it into the sauce. Lower the heat, and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Lamb
1 recipe portabella bourguignon sauce
1 rack of lamb (ours was 6 bone)
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped, plus more for garnish

1. Let the rack of lamb come to room temperature. If the lamb isn’t already trimmed of fat, trim most of the fat from the outside, leaving only a small layer (approximately 1/8 inch).

2. Drizzle the lamb with olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Coat with the chopped rosemary.

3. Wrap the bones of the lamb in foil before placing on the grill, to avoid blackening.

4. Grill the lamb over medium heat for 17-20 minutes, flipping only once halfway through cooking.

5. Slice the lamb between the bones, and serve it over the bourguignon sauce, garnished with additional rosemary.

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