Aarón Sánchez: Lamb with Mint Chimichurri & Terrazas Single Vineyard Las Compuertas Malbec
Award-winning chef and MasterChef judge Aarón Sánchez has chosen an expressive Terrazas de los Andes Single Vineyard Malbec to pair with his herb-crusted lamb with homemade adobo and a chimichurri sauce. Argentinian Malbec is the ideal pairing for rich meats, and especially lamb which is often used in Argentinian asado cooking. Impress your guests with a rare rack of lamb served with Aarón’s zesty, herby sauce, which perfectly complements this wine’s fresh acidity.
Wine Pairing: Terrazas de los Andes Single Vineyard Malbec 2014
Makes 2 servings
1 Colorado rack of lamb, frenched and cap removed
2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tablespoon reserved
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Aaron’s Adobo
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
⅓ cup Dijon mustard
Flakey finishing sea salt
Herb Crust Mixture:
⅓ cup cilantro leaves, packed
⅓ cup flat leaf parsley, packed
⅓ cup basil, packed
6 ounces panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
⅓ cup cotija cheese
⅓ cup Dijon mustard
Zest of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, chopped
½ cup parsley, packed
½ cup cilantro, packed
¼ cup fresh oregano, packed
¼ cup mint, packed
¼ cup red wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
1. To make the Herb Crust Mixture: add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until evenly combined, approximately 30 seconds. Remove and set aside.
2. To make the Mint Chimichurri: combine all ingredients in a food processor and process for 30 to 40 seconds, until well incorporated. Remove and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
4. Place the lamb rack on a sheet tray, drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil and then season liberally with salt, pepper and Aarón’s Adobo.
5. Preheat a large cast iron (or heavy bottomed, oven safe) pan over medium-high heat. Add the reserved tablespoon of oil to the pan and sear the lamb for 2 minutes on each side, until browned.
6. Add the butter, crushed garlic and thyme to the pan and carefully baste the lamb using a spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove lamb (which should still be very rare inside) from the pan and rest on a sheet tray or plate. Wipe the pan with paper towels.
7. Brush the lamb meat with a layer of the Dijon mustard. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes, then brush on another layer of Dijon mustard. Holding the lamb by the bones, coat the meat completely with the Herb Crust Mixture.
8. Place the lamb rack back into the pan with the fat side up. Cook the lamb in the oven for approximately 5 to 6 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 140-145°F on an instant read thermometer. Remove the lamb from the oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, until medium rare in the center.
9. Slice the lamb into double or single racks, season with finishing salt and serve with the Mint Chimichurri.
Makes approximately 1½ cups
¼ cup cumin seeds
¼ cup coriander seeds
¼ cup fennel seeds
¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
2 pasilla chiles, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and torn into small pieces
2 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and torn into small pieces
½ cup dried whole oregano (preferably Mexican)
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
¼ cup Spanish paprika (pimento), preferably sweet or hot
1. Heat a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in the cumin, coriander, fennel, and mustard seeds along with the pieces of pasilla and ancho chiles. Toast, stirring constantly, until it’s very aromatic and just beings to smoke, about 3 minutes.
2. Dump the mixture onto a plate and let it cool to room temperature. Grind it to a fine powder in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder.
3. Put the powder in a large bowl and add the oregano, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Stir them really well to combine.
4. Store the adobo in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag in a cool, dark place for up to a month.