Mocha Java Rack of Lamb

That sounds cool, right?? I knew we were going open one of our precious bottles of Goose Island Bourbon County, so I wanted to make a great dish to pair therewith. I settled on a rack of lamb and decided to crust it with a coffee and chocolate rub. And some cauliflower purée and roasted oyster mushrooms to go alongside.

I got the rack already frenched, which means the ribs are scraped clean.

I mixed my “crust dust” by starting with some cocoa mix and finely ground coffee.

To that, I added sage, espresso salt by Saltworks, and pepper.

I love my little thumb shot pepper grinder. It’s great for one-handed grinding!! I mixed this together and the coated the rack with it. Reserve a few tablespoons of the dust for later.

Let it chill in a the fridge a little. I heated up the oven to 375 to roast some oyster mushrooms, cut into cute chunks and drizzled with truffle oil (of course).

They can roast for a good 20 minutes or so. Cauliflower purée is super easy. First, take head of cauliflower.

About half of a mid-sized head is good, cut into small florets. Then place into boiling water.

Takes about 8-10 minutes to get soft. Once they’re soft, use an immersion blender to purée, I add some butter, because, well, butter is great.

Purée til smooth. It needs seasoning for sure.

Enter the reserve mocha java dust! Yes, I got crazy and added it to the cauliflower purée. Sounds wild, I know, but it was sooo delicious!!

It didn’t look pretty, but I figured I could cover it in the plating. Time to sear the rack! Get a hot pan going with some EVOO- I used a smoked EVOO, but regular (or truffle, of course) will be fine. Render off the fat in the searing and lock in those yummy mocha java flavors.

I sear the fat side first, then flip to get as much area pan seared as possible.

No, it’s not burnt, that’s just the coffee cocoa dust searing up. Once you’ve got a good “crust,” toss into the oven to finish cooking in there. Ten minutes ought to get it to a nice mid-rare.

Mushrooms and lamb should finish up together. Let the lamb rest once you take it out of the oven for a few minutes. It’ll keep cooking and stay juicy.

When it’s ready to be cut, cut down the length between the rib bones, I find this to be the easiest way to get good same-sized chops.

Then have fun plating!! I put down the cauliflower purée, the oyster shrooms (the snap peas are just for some color), then arranged the lamb atop.

I had a great chocolate balsamic in the pantry that I knew would be the perfect drizzle.

You know how I like to drizzle! This went perfectly with the mocha java crust on the lamb and flavor for the cauliflower purée.

What a great dish!!! And pretty easy, if you don’t mind a few steps. It was delicious!! Slightly different angle.

While I paired this with an incredible bourbon barrel aged stout, Goose Island’s Bourbon County, it’d also go great with a hearty red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. It’s so flavorful with the chocolate and coffee notes that I think it can stand up to virtually anything!


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