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Marinated Rack of Lamb

In this Middle Eastern-inspired recipe, the lamb is marinated in a dark, fruity marinade and served with couscous with golden raisins and pistachios. If you can't find or make pomegranate juice, cranberry-raspberry juice makes a good substitute.

2 8-rib racks of lamb

3 cups fresh or bottled pomegranate juice or cranberry-raspberry juice (we used cranberry-raspberry juice)
1/4 cup pomegranate syrup, rubyport or grenadine, optional (we used grenadine)
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (with pomegranate juice) or orange (with cranberry-raspberry juice) (we used orange)
6 cloves garlic
Ground white pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Trim the lamb of all but a 1/4-inch layer of fat. Reserve the fat to grease the cooking rack. Place racks of lamb in a large nonaluminum bowl. In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marinade together and pour over lamb. Cover and marinate for 4 to 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, turning the lamb 3 or 4 times. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator just before lighting the coals.

Light a charcoal fire in a grill with a hood. When the coals are hot, grease the cooking rack with the reserved fat, using long-handled tongs. Sear the lamb for 3 minutes on each side. Place the lamb fat-side down at one side of the cooking rack and cover the grill. Cook for 10 minutes, then baste with the marinade, turn, cover the grill, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes on the second side for medium rare (a total cooking time of 26 to 31 minutes) or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a rack reads 150 degrees.

Transfer the lamb from the grill to a carving board, cover it with aluminum foil, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Note: Look for bottled pomegranate juice in natural foods stores. Fresh pomegranate juice is even better.

Serves 4 to 6.

"Meat on the Grill" by David Barich and Thomas Ingalls

Sunday, August 27, 2000

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