by Chef Ira at

Recipe for Lamb Popsicles Style

Lamb Popsicles Glazed with a Cranberry Cabernet Sauce


I remember my first encounter with Lamb Popsicles at my sister's very posh wedding in LA back in 1987. I remember how this particular appetizer had stood out from all the others particularly because of the taste of medium rare lamb and the light sweet red wine glaze incorporated by the highly rated caterer who was rumoured to have catered the 1984 Academy Awards. I never found out if the rumour was true from my sister but the lamb popsicles were sure an award winner in my books.


The Lamb Popsicle is surprisingly easy to make but is also somewhat expensive so it is not a appetizer I would recommend for large parties or if you are on a tight budget. French cut Rack of Lamb (you get 8 popsicles per rack) averages between $20-$40 per pound and each rack averages between 1 - 1.5 lbs after being trimmed. If requesting the rack from your local butcher you need to specifically ask for the rack to be trimmed and "Frenched" which is the process of removing the cap (excess fat ) and removing the thin amount of meat from the first 2-3 inches from the rib bones.


The Rack of lamb should be brushed on both sides with mustard (I use a 50:50 mixture of Dijon and regular mustard) seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and fresh rosemary. Wrap the exposed bone in tin foil to prevent the bone from burning or browning while roasting. The rack of lamb can be roasted ahead of time in a preheated oven at 450F for 15-20 minutes. The lamb should be medium-rare since it will be cooked in the cranberry red wine sauce for a few minutes later.


Cranberry Cabernet Reduction

  • 1 bottle of inexpensive Cab Sauv or Zin
  • 2 Tbsp of Honey Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup Cranberry Sauce (homemade or from a can...cranberry jelly gives a smother glaze if that is preferred)
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar


You can also make the sauce well in advance of using it and store it in a container in the fridge. Its best to use a large diameter frying pan or sauce pan to reduce the wine quickly. Pour 3/4 of the bottle into the pan on high and boil until it is reduced to approximately half the volume. Mix in the mustard and cranberry sauce until it is fully combined with the wine and continue to boil the mixture for 5-10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add in the rest of the wine and brown sugar and continue to boil the mixture until it thickens to the consistency of a light syrup. You may need add in a bit more brown sugar to sweeten to the desired taste depending on the wine used.


The trick to this appetizer is that it has to be made just minutes before serving. Unfortunately it cools pretty fast and is not as desirable cold as it is served hot. Remove the rack of lamb from the fridge and cut the rack into individual lamb chops by cutting between the bone, In a frying pan use about a half of the mixture on high a bring the mixture back to a boil before adjusting the heat to low. add the chops in to the pan with each chop having enough space to lay perfectly on its side. Swish the chops around in the mixture for 2 minutes before flipping the chops over and doing the same thing again for 2 more minutes. The chops should be fully coated on both sides with the rich Cabernet glaze. If needed add more of the prepared glaze to the pan to ensure the chops are fully coated.


Plate the Lamb Popsicles on a white or glass platter and serve immediately.



Chef Ira at



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