Inspired by the deep, rich, and balanced flavors of Moroccan dishes, this delicious grilled rack of lamb is rubbed with a complex spice mixture that includes paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper, then crusted in a bright and fresh pesto-like blend of fresh cilantro, parsley, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. They're flavors that can both stand up to and enhance the strong flavor of lamb.
Why this recipe works:
- The lamb gets layers of flavor from two different sources: an earthy spice mixture, and a fresh, tangy herb blend.
- A quick sear over high, direct heat browns the lamb, then low, controlled indirect heat cooks it to perfection.
- For the Herb Mixture:
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic, about 3 medium cloves
- For the Spice Rub and Lamb:
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 Frenched 7-10 rib racks of lamb, trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat, about 1 1/2-2 pounds each
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Type of fire: two-zone indirect
- Grill heat: medium-high
For the Herb Mixture: Combine cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic in a medium bowl. Set aside.
For the Spice Rub: Combine paprika, salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne in a small bowl. Season racks of lamb all over with spice mixture.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place racks of lamb over hot side of the grill, fat side down, and cook until well browned, 3-5 minutes. Transfer lamb to a cutting board.
Brush a thin layer of mustard over the fat side of each rack of lamb. Carefully press the herb and lemon mixture into the mustard on each rack, distributing it evenly.
Return the racks to the grill, fat side up, close to, but not directly over, the coals. Continue to cook until an instant read thermometer registers 130°F when inserted into the side of the rack, 15 to 25 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest uncovered for 10 minutes. Slice between ribs into chops and serve immediately.