- 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
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle. Add the garlic and toast over moderate heat until the skin is blackened in spots, 10 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rub the lamb with 1/3 cup of the puree. Let stand for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
- In a small saucepan, simmer the remaining puree with 1/4 cup of water; keep warm.
- 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.
Smoky, berry-rich Argentinean Malbec.