Mesmerizing holiday entertaining!
Creating a festive and elegant meal is easier than you might think, and with the help of The Fresh Market, you’ll be all set to treat your holiday guests and celebrate deliciously this Christmas.
One of the simplest cuts of meat to prepare in under an hour, is a handsome rack of lamb. My family’s favorite way to enjoy a rack of lamb is this recipe for Pancetta and Pistachio Rack of Lamb with a velvety Pomegranate Sauce to generously drizzle everywhere. In this recipe you have the salty, you have the sweet, and oh my there’s that nutty texture! But let’s face it, where would this rack of lamb be without the pancetta? I just don’t want to even imagine that scenario, because pancetta = bacon! To finish off the Pancetta and Pistachio Rack of Lamb, there’s a rich and deeply flavored Pomegranate sauce that’s been lavished with a bit of red wine, ’nuff said.
It’s a stunning combination of flavors that will impress your guests.
In our house we like to add a few of our holiday favorites to the menu, such as my go-to Perfect Roast Potatoes, a simple tossed salad, and sometimes I make a dish of creamy Brussels Sprouts au Gratin, just for good measure.
For me, a shopping trip to The Fresh Market is my therapy!
I love to take in all of the beautiful fresh cut flowers, sips of their coffees, and relax to the classical music playing while I’m checking off my shopping list.
If you’ve never been to The Fresh Market, it is a specialty grocer known for providing a curated product selection of specialty foods with exceptional quality and the finest ingredients. From seasonally fresh produce to exceptional quality meat and seafood, signature baked goods and carefully curated organics, all the foods you love are waiting for you at The Fresh Market. Trust me!
The flavor of the French cut Rack of Lamb that The Fresh Market has sourced is impeccable! You are guaranteed that is sourced from free-range lambs that were on a pure vegetable diet, and never given antibiotics or hormones. You can also find other gorgeous meats such as beef tenderloin, seasoned and Frenched roasts, spiral sliced honey hams to lobster tails, sea scallops and succulent Atlantic clams.
The Fresh Market is committed to being your one-stop shop for holiday entertaining. Visit your neighborhood store for gorgeous gifts, stand-out sides, inspiring ingredients and more.
For my tips on easy entertaining, click HERE to download.
- For the Pomegranate Sauce:
- 2/3 cup Chicken Broth
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate Juice
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp All Purpose Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- For the Pistachio Pesto:
- 1 Garlic clove, skin removed and left whole
- 1/2 cup Roasted Pistachios, shelled
- 1 Tbsp fresh Thyme leaves
- 1 Tbsp fresh Rosemary leaves
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper, to taste if desired
- For the Rack of Lamb:
- 1 French Cut Rack of Lamb, should be 8 chops and about 2 - 3 lbs
- Pistachio Pesto
- 3 - 4 oz Pancetta slices, or you can use thin sliced smoked bacon
For the Pomegranate Sauce:
It's best to make the Pomegranate Sauce ahead of time, to allow to cool.
- Mix about 1/4 cup of the broth with the Flour to make a paste, then add in with the remaining Broth, Wine, Pomegranate Juice, Sugar and a pinch of Salt in a saucepan over medium high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium low and allow to cook until the liquid has reduced by almost half. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
For the Pistachio Pesto:
- In a food processor, add the Garlic, Pistachios, Thyme leaves, Rosemary leaves and 1/4 cup of the Olive Oil. Process until it is a thick paste. If the paste is too crumbly add more Olive Oil, 1 Tbsp at a time until it is thick yet still sticks to itself.
For the Rack of Lamb:
- Preheat oven to 400°F, line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
- Season the Lamb with a drizzle of Olive Oil and a small amount of Salt and Pepper. Score the fat side of the Lamb lightly with a sharp knife.
- Drizzle 2 - 3 Tbsps of Olive Oil in a skillet set over high heat on the stove top. Add the Lamb to hot skillet fat side down and allow to cook for 5 - 7 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a plate and set aside to cool slightly.
- Once cool enough to handle, use half of the Pistachio Pesto paste, coating the seared fat side of the Lamb, patting until it sticks.
- Wrap the Pistachio coated side of the Lamb with the Pancetta, placing over so that the slices cover the Pistachio Pesto. Then tuck the ends of the Pancetta up and over and in between the bones, pressing the Pancetta firmly on the bone side to keep in place. Repeat with each slice of Pancetta until the Lamb is fully wrapped.
- Coat the Pancetta wrapped side of the Lamb with the remaining Pistachio Pesto.
- Transfer the Lamb to the foil lined baking tray and bake for 15 - 20 minutes for rare, 20 - 30 for medium rare or 30 - 40 well done (I baked mine for about 25 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to rest the Lamb for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
Serve the Pancetta and Pistachio crusted Rack of Lamb with the Pomegranate Sauce and enjoy!
You can make the Pomegranate Sauce up to three days ahead, and keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Stacey is a Southern girl with a taste for travel, thriving on the discovery of the world through food. After spending many years traveling and living overseas, she’s now back home in her beloved deep south enjoying life with her three little ones and loving the adventure. She’s a food stylist and food photographer, as well as, the creative behind Little Figgy Food, where she loves to inspire others to try new flavors and foodie techniques.