On the Line: Louie Jocson of Zov's, Part Two

Cooking up something special
Cooking up something special
Photo by LP Hastings

My revisit with Louie includes a look back at a time when I used to request a recipe. So we celebrate the new year with Louie's newest contribution. If you're a fan of lamb, this is for you.

Read the first part of our interview with Louie over here. Then get that grocery list started before continuing below . . .

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Pomegranate Sauce Serves 4 to 6

Per Chef: "People are rediscovering the tender, succulent flavor of lamb, which is absolutely unforgettable when cooked just right. The trick is to sear all the sides of the lamb in a very hot pan before roasting it in the oven. Pomegranate molasses adds both savory and sweet notes to the sauce, which guests will find wonderfully unique. Choosing the right sides makes this tender lamb all the more delicious."

Notes: When purchasing rack of lamb, be sure the meat is well-trimmed of fat. To eliminate last-minute preparations, sear the lamb first, coat it with the mustard mixture and then cover and refrigerate for up to one day. When you're just about ready to serve dinner, roast the lamb as directed below and make the sauce.


LAMB CHOPS: 1/4 Cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 Tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1 Tablespoon minced garlic 1 Tablespoon salt 2 (1 1/2 pounds each) trimmed racks of lamb 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

POMEGRANATE SAUCE: 1 Tablespoon olive oil 2 Tablespoons minced shallot 1 Tablespoon minced garlic 1 Cup reduced sodium beef broth or stock 1/4 Cup pomegranate molasses 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled, unsalted butter. Cut into 4 pieces Salt and ground pepper, to taste Pomegranate seeds, for garnish


Stir 1/4 cup oil, black pepper, rosemary, thyme, garlic and salt in a small bowl to blend. Rub all but 2 tablespoons of the oil mixture over both sides of the lamb racks. Mix the mustard into the remaining oil mixture in the bowl. Cover the lamb and mustard mixture separately. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy, large oven-proof skillet (make sure the skillet is large enough to fit both lamb racks) over medium-high heat until it is almost smoking (you should see a slight smoke rising from the skillet). Place the lamb racks in the skillet and cook just until brown, about 4 minutes per side. Arrange the lamb racks rounded side up in the skillet. Spread the mustard mixture over each. Roast the lamb in the oven until cooked to desired doneness, about 20 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer the lamb racks to a work surface (do not clean the skillet). Tent loosely with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, prepare the pomegranate sauce: Drain the accumulated fat from the skillet that the lamb was roasted in. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and pomegranate molasses. Increase the heat to high, and boil the sauce until it reduces by half and is syrupy, about 8 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Whisk the butter into the sauce 1 piece at a time until well-blended. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut the lamb between the bones. Arrange the lamb chops on plates, overlapping slightly. Spoon the sauce generously over and around each serving. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.

Zov's has locations in Tustin, Irvine, Newport, Anaheim and John Wayne Airport. For more information, visit www.zovs.com.

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