Sichuan Racks of Lamb with Cumin and Chile Peppers
- ACTIVE: 45 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 12
Sang Yoon brushes lamb racks with soy sauce, rubs them with a Sichuan peppercorn, cumin and star anise mix, then roasts them until perfectly medium-rare.
- 1/4 cup cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
- 4 Chinese dried red chiles
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- Five 3 1/2- to 4-pound frenched racks of lamb, excess fat trimmed
- 2 tablespoons canola or peanut oil, plus more for brushing
- Chinese dark soy sauce, for brushing (see Note)
- 2 cups veal stock or 1 cup veal demiglace mixed with 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 teaspoon tobanjan (see Note)
- One 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon black cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 Chinese dried red chile
- 1/2 star anise pod
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed
- Kosher salt
- Thinly sliced scallions, thinly sliced red Fresno chiles and crispy fried shallots (see Note), for garnish
- MAKE THE SPICED LAMB Preheat the oven to 400°. In a skillet, toast the cumin, black peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns, dried chiles, fennel seeds and star anise over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, 3 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the onion and garlic powders and ginger.
- Set 2 racks over each of 2 rimmed baking sheets. Lightly brush the lamb all over with oil and then soy sauce. Rub the spice mixture all over. In a skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. In batches, sear the racks over moderate heat until browned on both sides, 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to the baking sheets.
- Roast the lamb for 45 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 135°. Let rest for 15 minutes.
- MEANWHILE, MAKE THE SAUCE In a saucepan, combine the veal stock, ginger, garlic, tobanjan, cinnamon, sugar, cloves, cardamom, Sichuan peppercorns, dried chile, star anise and fennel seeds. Simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 1 cup, 15 minutes. Whisk in the butter and season with salt; strain into a bowl and keep warm.
- Carve the lamb into chops and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with scallions, sliced red chiles and crispy shallots and serve.
Sturdy, rich rosé Champagne.