Serves 8 (serving size: 2 chops and 1/4 cup sauce)
Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (1 1/2-pound) French-cut racks of lamb (8 ribs each)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 3/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups pitted dried plums, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare lamb, combine the first 6 ingredients. Coat lamb with oil. Rub spice mixture on lamb.
Arrange onion in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray; top with lamb. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of lamb registers 130°. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut lamb into chops. Discard onions.
To prepare sauce, combine 1 3/4 cups water and next 7 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 20 minutes or until sauce measures 2 cups. Stir in juice. Serve sauce with lamb. Sprinkle lamb with cilantro.
Wine Match: A big red has enough body to stand up to the meaty lamb, and its fruit marries well with the plum. Sonoma's Dry Creek Vineyard's Heritage Zinfandel 2009 ($19) is juicy with undertones of clove and pepper that draw out the aromatics. --Gretchen Roberts
Lamb was lovely on its own, since it shared many of the same spices as the plum sauce. However, I am so glad I tasted the sauce before adding it to the lamb, since both my husband and I found the sauce medicinal and inedible. Followed the recipe precisely, so unless the spices have gone south in my cupboard, even after a recent refresh, I don't know what went wrong. With expensive meat like lamb, I was glad it could be "saved" by omitting the sauce. Next time, I might try a blackberry sauce instead.