Rack of Lamb With a Merlot Glaze and Cherry Reduction Sauce

Total Time
1hr 20mins
Prep 50 mins
Cook 30 mins

This is a truly special dinner entree. A bit labor intensive to start off with, but once you have the glaze and cherry sauce done the rest of the preparation goes together like a dream, and the taste is out of this world. If you really have some special guests you want to impress, then this is the perfect choice. I accompany mine with sea salt roasted baby potatoes and green beans.

Ingredients Nutrition


  • 2 cups merlot or 2 cups other red wine
  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted (I have very successfully substituted bottled morello cherries)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 cups lamb stock or 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle merlot
  • 1 12 cups good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • LAMB

  • 4 lamb racks, excess fat trimmed and bones frenched (1 1/2 to 2 lbs. each)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • rosemary sprig, for garnish


  1. To prepare the sauce; combine the wine, cherries, garlic and shallot in a saucepan over high heat and reduce until the mixture is almost dry, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the stock, decrease the heat to medium, and reduce until the sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.
  6. Preheat oven to 300*F.
  7. To prepare the glaze, combine the wine, vinegar, shallot and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat and reduce until about 1/2 cup liquid remains, 20 to 25 minutes.
  8. Set aside until you are ready to use it.
  9. To prepare the lamb, season the racks well with salt and pepper.
  10. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat until smoking hot.
  11. Add as many of the racks as will fit without overcrowding the pan, meat side down, and sear well, 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a sheet pan.
  12. Continue searing the remaining racks.
  13. Baste the racks well with the glaze.
  14. Set the pan in the oven and roast, basting every 5 minutes, until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 135*F for medium-rare doneness about 20 minutes.
  15. Remove the racks from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes, then slice.
  16. To serve, place the slices on a warm serving platter and drizzle with some of the sauce.
  17. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve warm, with any extra sauce on the side.
Most Helpful

This recipe was very tasty and came out perfectly! My boyfriend absolutely loved it and the place smelled phenomenal! The only thing I didn't like was the time estimates. It took about double the time to prepare and cook everything. Otherwise, this recipe is golden!

Stephani C. February 15, 2014

This a such a show-stopper! It look longer than mentioned to make the reductions and glaze, but that was fine with me, because the amount of taste and flavor was outstanding. Even a non-lamb eater was digging this. I didnt have cherries, so I used a cup of frozen mixed berries (blueberry, cherry and blackberry) It turned out great! I would be curious to try this with other types of berries or fruit!

Meghan November 17, 2008

This recipe was a bit difficult to follow for my second time making lamb but it was absolutely worth it. What a fantastic dinner. I would make it again, especialy for guest, it is a sure way to wow them. I crave this dish and can't wait to make it again. By far the best lamb I have ever had.

lauren.dyck November 18, 2006