Rack of Lamb with Pasilla Chiles

The chiles add a touch of spice to this perfectly cooked rack of lamb.

Slideshow:  More Lamb Recipes


  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
KEY: Summer, Grilling/Barbecuing, Barbecue/Cookout, Dinner Party, Father's Day, Mexican, Southwestern/Tex-Mex, Staff Favorites

Related Video

More Videos
Ludo Lefebvre’s Ultimate Lamb Chops


  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 6 pasilla chiles (see Note), seeded
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Two 8-bone racks of lamb (not frenched), fat trimmed
  • Olive oil, for grilling
  • Chopped red onion and parsley and queso añejo (see Note), for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle. Add the garlic and toast over moderate heat until the skin is blackened in spots, 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the pasillas in the skillet: Press with a spatula and turn once, until pliable and fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer the chiles to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water. Microwave at high power for 1 minute, until the chiles are completely rehydrated.
  3. Transfer the chiles to a blender and add 1/3 cup of their soaking liquid. Peel the garlic and add to the blender with the honey, vinegar, oregano, cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Puree, then strain.
  4. Rub the lamb with 1/3 cup of the puree. Let stand for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
  5. In a small saucepan, simmer the remaining puree with 1/4 cup of water; keep warm.
  6. Light a grill and oil the grates. Grill the lamb over moderately high heat, turning and rotating the racks, until lightly charred outside and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 135° for medium-rare, 30 minutes; move the meat to moderate heat if it starts to burn. Transfer the lamb to a carving board; let rest for 5 minutes. Carve the lamb into chops and garnish with chopped red onion, parsley and queso añejo. Serve with the pasilla sauce.


Pasilla chiles are long, black dried chiles. Queso anejo is a dry grating cheese; cotija or ricotta salata are good substitutes.

Suggested Pairing

Smoky, berry-rich Argentinean Malbec.

Contributed By Photo © Antonis Achilleos Published July 2011

Related Video

More Videos
Ludo Lefebvre’s Ultimate Lamb Chops

473386 recipes/rack-lamb-pasilla-chiles 2013-12-06 Rick Bayless summer|grilling-barbecuing|barbecue-cookout|dinner-party|fathers-day|mexican|southwestern-tex-mex|4|staff-favorite july-2011,rick bayless,frontera grill,rack of lamb,pasilla chiles,mexican lamb,southwestern lamb,lamb chops,grilled lamb recipes,rack-lamb-pasilla-chiles 473386