Over the last few weeks I shared the highlights from a trip I took to Alexander Valley with the girls. I thought it would be fun to share a favorite recipe from one of the restaurants we stopped by, RUSTIC at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Alexander Valley. We enjoyed the Grilled Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Onions and Fresh Pomegranates so much when we dined there that we asked for the recipe, and it’s been a hit ever since – especially for the holidays. In fact, this is one of my family’s all time favorite recipes that uses fresh pomegranates!

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Onions and Fresh Pomegranates Recipe

This Grilled Rack of Lamb is one of our all-time favorite recipes!

This Grilled Rack of Lamb is one of our all-time favorite recipes!

When the chef at RUSTIC told me how simple this recipe was to prepare, I was sure something was left out. But be warned: you need three days to marinate the lamb in your refrigerator before grilling to perfection. After waiting for the marinade to work its magic you will be rewarded with lamb that will cut just like a filet mignon!


  • 2 racks of lamb, trimmed of excess fat
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup of port wine
  • 2-3 Tablespoons sugar or honey
  • Salt & pepper


  • 4 cups of fresh pomegranate juice
  • 2 red onions, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 1 large Ziploc bag
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate, for garnish


Fresh pomegranates add delicious flavor to this rack of lamb recipe.

Fresh pomegranates add delicious flavor to this rack of lamb recipe.

Combine juice, onions and lamb in a Ziploc bag and marinate for 72 hours in your refrigerator. One hour before you are ready to grill the lamb, remove the lamb to a plate and bring to room temperature. Drain the onions, reserving the juice. Caramelize the onions on your stovetop with 2 Tablespoons of butter and olive oil, salt & pepper. Cook until softened & slightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Set aside. Place the reserved pomegranate juice in a saucepan, along with 1 cup of port wine; add the sugar or honey to taste and reduce to 1 cup. Strain the sauce if necessary. Remove from heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter to give it a glossy finish. Use the reduced sauce as a glaze when ready to serve.

Grill the rack of lamb and cut into individual chops.

Top the grilled rack of lamb with the cooked onions and add fresh pomegranate seeds as a garnish, if desired.

Serves 8

Here are a few Dinner Diva Tips:

  1. Add sliced onions to the marinade and then slowly caramelize them just before you are ready to serve.
  2. Purchase the lamb from Costco. My husband recently purchased a rack of lamb from our local butcher and it just wasn’t the same as when I’ve purchased the meat at Costco, not only with regard to the cost but also as to the overall flavor and presentation. When they asked him if he wanted it cleaned he did not know what they meant so he declined. Well, I can tell you he won’t make that mistake again as he spent at least 20 minutes prepping the lamb: removing the thick layer of fat, cleaning off the bones, etc. Avoid this hassle and purchase the lamb from Costco. All of their racks of lamb have been trimmed of excess fat, the ribs have been cleaned and the package is vacuum-packed for freshness. One rack will cost you between $15-$20 and will serve four people two ribs per person (you could easily spend $35-$40 elsewhere). Costco’s product is from New Zealand which tends to taste less “gamey” than other brands I’ve tried, too.

Download and print the recipe here.

Want some additional grilling tips? About.com has a fantastic article about how to cook your grilled rack of lamb to perfection – whether it’s marinated in pomegranates or not.

What’s your favorite meal from a restaurant? Have you ever attempted a version of it at home?

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: Dinner-Diva.com for more info.