Quartered dried figs can be used.
Variation Use four 14-ounce lamb shoulder chops instead of the racks and preheat the oven to 400°. Follow Step 1. In Step 2, brown the chops over moderately high heat, about 4 minutes per side, then roast for 20 minutes. Transfer the chops to a platter instead of a cutting board and proceed with Step 3.
While Cabarnet Sauvignon has long been considered the classic match with lamb, there's a better wine for this particular dish: a refined Bordeaux-style Zinfandel. A big, tannic Cab might be fine with the lamb by itself but would taste clumsy with this mildly sweet sauce. On the other hand, a full-bodied, high-alcohol Zinfandel would overpower the entire dish. A Bordeaux-style Zin offers the best of both worlds: the restraint to complement the delicate, gamey flavor of lamb and the deliciously jammy sweetness to go with the fig-port sauce. Look for one from Sonoma.