What’s Cooking: Holiday Entertaining Menu Entrée, Peppercorn Lamb Chops with Sriracha-Fig Jam
Our chefs, Wit & Wonder Gifts team and blog editor take the stress out of planning a full-course menu that’s memorable (in a good way) and won’t keep you stuck in the kitchen all night. In a special What’s Cooking series, we’re serving up six perfectly paired, delicious recipes and inspiration for holiday entertaining—from drinks and dessert to décor and gifts.
The beauty of this recipe is in its serious simplicity. From start to finish, you’ll be done in well under an hour—with minimal effort—and have two gorgeous racks of lamb to show for it. To complement the lamb chops, an unexpected combo of Sriracha and fig jam create a one-step sauce that’s a little sweet, a little spicy and a lot easy. Plated up and accompanied by those Gratinéed Brussels Sprouts, these peppercorn rib chops make for a main course that will leave you with a table full of happy guests and compliments to the chef.
Peppercorn-Crusted Lamb Chops with Spicy Fig Jam
from the Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook
“Tender lamb rib chops, cut from a roasted rack, are one of the most elegant entrées. A mix of four different kinds of peppercorns (also called a peppercorn mélange, and sold at specialty grocers and online) makes a colorful, as well as flavorful, crust. The fig jam sauce is simple and delicious.” —Tony Zamora, Home Chef
Spicy Fig Jam Sauce
1 cup fig jam, preferably Mission fig
4 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 racks of lamb, each with 8 ribs and weighing 1 3/4 pounds, fully trimmed and bones frenched (see Note)
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup coarsely ground peppercorn mélange (a mix of pink, white, black, and green peppercorns)
1. To make the spicy fig jam sauce, mix the jam, 2 tablespoons water and Sriracha together in a small saucepan. Warm the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the butter to the sauce and stir until incorporated. Set aside while cooking the chops.
2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. Brush 1 tablespoon of the oil over the lamb racks. Season with the salt. Spread the peppercorns on a cutting board. Press the top and sides of each rack into the peppercorns to coat. Set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add one lamb rack, top side down, and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board. Repeat with the second rack. Interlace the lamb racks, bones facing up, and return to the skillet. For medium rare, roast about 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a rack (not touching bone) registers 130°F.
4. Let the racks stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Cut between the bones into individual chops. Transfer 4 chops to each dinner plate and add a large spoonful of the sauce. Serve immediately.
Note: Frenching is trimming the meat from an uncooked rib roast or rack to expose the ends of the rib bones. Frenched racks of lamb have become commonplace, especially with imported Australian or New Zealand lamb, and can be found at many supermarkets and price clubs. If you buy a rack of lamb with untrimmed bones, ask your butcher to remove the chine bone and french the rack for you.
Download a printable PDF of this Lamb Chops with Sriracha-Fig Jam recipe, and find more recipes to love in our What’s Cooking series. Have a favorite dish from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!