Rack of Lamb with Korean Gochujang

This Korean-inspired dish is an impressive holiday centerpiece that requires minimal cooking time, and all ingredients can be found at Asian food stores.

Recipe courtesy WP24 by Wolfgang Puck, Los Angeles

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup gochujang (Korean hot-pepper paste)
  • 3 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 3 teaspoons chopped ginger
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 rack of lamb (8 chops), cleaned and frenched
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Cilantro-Ginger Vinaigrette (recipe below), for serving
  • Gochujang aioli, for serving (recipe below)
  • Cilantro-Ginger Vinaigrette:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • ¼ cup (packed) pickled ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • ½ Serrano chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¾ cup peanut oil
  • 25 cilantro sprigs, roughly chopped
  • Combine all ingredients except oils and cilantro in a blender. Purée until very smooth. With blender still running, drizzle in oils slowly to emulsify. Add cilantro and blend until no big chunks remain, and reserve.
  • Gochujang Aioli:
  • ½ cup gochujang
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well, and reserve.
Directions

In a large bowl, add paste, garlic, ginger, sugar, mirin, soy sauce, honey and sesame oil, and whisk together. In a glass or ceramic dish just big enough to hold lamb, cover lamb with the marinade. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove lamb from marinade and season liberally with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, warm a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven wide enough to hold the lamb, and coat bottom with peanut oil. Sear lamb well on all sides until deeply browned. The fatty side will take approximately 3 minutes, and the meaty side about 2 minutes.

Place lamb on a sheet tray or shallow baking pan. Cook until desired internal temperature is reached (an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the rack should read 120–125˚F for medium-rare). This will likely take 15–20 minutes. Let lamb rest 5–10 minutes before slicing. Serve with cilantro-ginger vinaigrette and gochujang aioli. Serves 2–3 per rack.

Pair It

The perfect pairing for the lamb is a fruit-forward red wine with light or no tannins, to complement the Korean flavors and the ginger in the sauce, like Friedrich Becker’s 2012 B Pinot Noir (Pfalz).

Published on December 8, 2016
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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