Every fall, we try to jump on the cranberry bandwagon. Too many memories of cloyingly sweet, jiggly jelly make it hard, though. Once we discovered no-cook, chunky cranberry relishes, autumn holidays became a lot more festive. The addition of jalapeño makes this ruby-red relish all the more appealing (for us, at least). Is a little heat ever a bad thing? We thought not.
Nor is a book devoted to one of our favorite cooking methods. Year-Round Roasting brings the heat–not just to the expected cuts of meat and poultry but to vegetables and even fruits. Count us in.
And while most thoughts turn to turkey come November, we’re kind of loving this tweaking of tradition. There are, after all, only so many turkey sandwiches one can eat. Aren’t there?
–Shelly and Fran
Brilliant in color and spiced with mint, jalapeño, and tangerines, the relish is also great paired with roast turkey or pork. It would make a unique addition to the Thanksgiving table. Ask your butcher to “french” the racks by cutting the meat and fat from the rib ends. This makes a neater presentation if you are carving at the table and makes it easier to cut the racks into chops.
–Year Round Roasting, Williams Sonoma
- 1⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) fresh tangerine juice
- 1⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) canola or grapeseed oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 racks of lamb, about 21⁄2 lb (1.25 kg) each, trimmed and frenched
- 2 tangerines
- 1 cup (4 oz/125 g) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1⁄2 large white onion, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄3 cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) rice vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup (1⁄4 oz/7 g) packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 small jalapeño chile, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- Pinch of kosher salt
- In a large, shallow dish, combine the tangerine juice and oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the lamb and turn to coat the racks on all sides. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, make the relish: Juice 1 of the tangerines and chop the other coarsely, skin and all, and remove any seeds. In a blender or food processor, combine the tangerine juice, chopped tangerine, cranberries, onion, vinegar, mint, and jalapeño and purée until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and add the sugar and kosher salt. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
- If desired, wrap the ends of the bones with aluminum foil to keep them from burning. Arrange the lamb racks, bone side down, in a roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the lamb away from the bone registers 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare, 15–20 minutes, or until done to your liking. Transfer the racks to a carving board and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10–15 minutes.
- Cut the racks between the bones into individual chops. Arrange 2 or 3 chops per person on warmed individual plates, with the relish alongside. Serve right away.
Courtesy of Weldon Owen. Recipe photograph by Eric Wolfinger.