This sauce is better made a day or two in advance so that the flavors can pull together.
- 8 ounces dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped mint leaves
- 1/2 chipotle chili pepper in adobo, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 teaspoons dry white wine
- 1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons sweet thai chili sauce, such as Mae Ploy brand
- 1/2 teaspoon acacia honey
- Water, as necessary
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 racks of lamb, frenched (2 1/2 pounds total)
For the sauce: Combine the fruit, kecap manis, hot pepper sauce, mint, chipotle chili peppers, juices, wine, garlic, chili sauce and honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stirring to mix well, then cook for 15 minutes (about 30 minutes total). Remove from the heat and let cool while you grill the lamb; taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as necessary. When it is has cooled, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth, adding water as necessary. The sauce should be quite thick, almost jammy.
Prepare the grill for direct and indirect heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them under the cooking area for direct heat and indirect heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.
For the lamb: Wrap the exposed (frenched) ends of the bones in aluminum foil to keep them from burning on the grill.
Use a sharp knife to lightly score a crosshatch pattern in the fat pad on the top of the meat. (If the meat is very lean, do not crosshatch.) Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper; grill, fat side down, over direct heat for 6 to 7 minutes on one side, then move the racks to the indirect-heat side of the grill, turning them fat side up and brushing them all over with some of the sauce. Cover with the grill lid and grill for 10 to 12 minutes, or, more importantly, until the internal temperature of the meat (measured away from the bone) registers--0 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes, loosely tented with aluminum foil, before cutting between the bones for individual servings (discarding the foil over the bones). Serve with more of the sauce on the side.
From Craig Whitson of 100 Degrees Celsius, a Norwegian barbecue team.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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