Fourteen years ago, as a junior in college, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to spend the semester abroad, and chose to go to Florence, Italy. I immediately fell in love with the people, the culture, the museums, the architecture, and of course, the food (and wine!). I basically ate my way through the next four months. I really lived my best life that semester! One of the dishes that always stands out in my memory is the Filetto al Martillo (Filet with Blueberry Sauce) at Acqua al 2.
The restaurant has been around for over 40 years! For several years there were outposts in San Diego and Washington DC, but those have since closed, so you’ll just have to add a trip to Italy to your list in order to experience what I’m raving about. I promise that I can still smell and taste that dish to this day - the sweet and tart blueberry sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the meat.
So, on a recent Sunday I decided that I had to recreate it, but I gave it a little twist and served it with a rack of lamb. Honestly, you could probably serve this on a shoe, and it would be delicious, so feel free to try it with any protein of your choice. It would be great with roasted chicken, venison, beef, pork… the possibilities are endless.
Rack of Lamb with Blueberry Balsamic Sauce
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Active Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
1 2-pound rack of lamb, frenched
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 small onion, small dice
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup red wine (whatever you have on hand)
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
3. Brush all sides of the lamb with Dijon mustard.
4. In a small bowl, mix 2 cloves minced garlic, Panko breadcrumbs and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Press breadcrumb mixture onto mustard-coated lamb.
6. Drizzle crumb-coated lamb with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet (with a cooling rack) or a cast iron pan.
7. Roast at 425 until desired doneness. I like to pull mine at 140 for medium (mine took about 15-20 minutes). Allow the lamb to rest at least 5 minutes before slicing into chops for serving.
8. While the lamb is in the oven, start the Blueberry Balsamic Sauce.
9. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high heat, then add the butter.
10. Once the butter is melted, add the onion.
11. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until onions are translucent.
12. Add 1 clove minced garlic to the onions.
13. Once the garlic is fragrant (about one minute), add the blueberries to the pan.
14. Sauté the blueberries for 5-10 minutes. They will break apart and eventually create a sauce.
15. Add balsamic, red wine, and sugar. Reduce to desired consistency, about 5-10 minutes.
16. Serve the sauce over the lamb chops and enjoy!
I served my lamb with garlic and chive smashed potatoes and green beans, but you can switch up the sides. You’ll definitely want to make sure you have a way of getting all that sauce off the plate!
If this dish has sparked your interest in learning how to cook rack of lamb, join us from the comfort of your own kitchen for our virtual Valentine’s Feast Workshop on Sunday, February 14 at 4pm CST. We’ll be making Garlicky Shrimp Scampi, Rosemary Crumb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Red Wine Reduction, and Warm Farro Salad with Sautéed Mushrooms and Baby Kale. Space is limited, so be sure to book your spot soon! You can even add the Allen Brother's lamb and Wabash Seafood shrimp to your order and pick it up from our Lincoln Square location. We’re also happy to help you find the perfect bottle of wine to pair with your special meal!
And if my rave reviews of Florence has got you wanting to travel, check out our Virtual Vacation series. We have:
- Trip to the Middle East, Friday, January 15 at 6pm CST
- Trip to the Greek Islands Friday, January 22 at 6pm CST
- Trip to the Caribbean Friday, January 29 at 6pm CST
- Trip to Argentina Friday, February 5 at 6pm CST
- Trip to Chinatown Friday, February 12 at 6pm CST
- Trip to New England Friday, February 19 at 6pm CST
Speaking of trips, be sure to check out our private shopping appointments or curbside pickup offerings (just go to the SHOP tab in the top navigation of our website) if you need anything for your kitchen and take a trip to come see us in Lincoln Square safely!