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Lamb Lollipops with Coffee-Pepper Sauce #SundayFunday

Today the Sunday Funday group is writing about and sharing coffee recipes. Thanks to Stacy of Food Lust People Love, Sue of Palatable Pastime, Rebekah of Making Miracles, and Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for coordinating this low-stress group. This week, Renu is hosting. "Anything in which coffee is added," she wrote. Here's the #SundayFunday coffee line-up...
My Coffee Love Affair

I have loved coffee since college. And my thirteen months in Italy just cemented that love affair though I rarely drink "American" coffee and I vehemently rally against corporate coffee because I love to taste the coffee and not just an abundance of milk and sugar.

I even roasted my own coffee beans after I wrote an article for Edible Monterey Bay back in 2013. And it's not just a beverage. It's an earthy ingredient that adds an intriguing depth of flavor. You can see coffee, coffee extract, and/or coffee liqueur in my Earthy Braised Lamb Shanks, Dirty Chai Mini Bundts, Kahlua Truffles, Chocolate Caramel Cauldrons (photo above), and more! 

Lamb Lollipops with Coffee-Pepper Sauce

But for this, I really wanted to use coffee in a savory and landed on lamb lollipops with a coffee rub and a coffee-pepper sauce.

serves 4 as an appetizer (2 ribs per person)
  • rack of lamb with 8 ribs, sliced into lollipops
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • sixteen 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • sixteen 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • sixteen 1/2 teaspoon espresso-ground coffee
  • sixteen 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Coffee-Pepper Sauce
  • 1/2 cup lamb (or beef) stock
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate (I used a 100% cacao solids bar), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of cayenne


Season each side of lamb liberally with salt and pepper. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon coffee grounds, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder on each lollipop. Flip over and repeat. Let meat stand for at least 10 minutes, longer, if you have time.

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add the lamb and sear for 1 minute and flip it over. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on the second side. Flip over again. This time cook for 3 to 4 minutes. At a total of 4 to 5 minutes per side, these were medium done.

Adjust cooking time to your preferred doneness. While the lamb rests, make your sauce.

Chocolate Pepper Sauce
Pour stock, coffee, and wine into a large skillet. Whisk in garlic, black pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Add in chocolate and remove from heat. Let stand for 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Return to heat and reduce until desired thickness.  

To Serve
Place lollipops on a serving platter and drizzle with sauce.

That's a wrap on the #SundayFunday coffee event. We'll be back next week as we share taco recipes with Wendy leading the discussion. Stay tuned...


  1. I love using coffee and chocolate in savory recipes. This sounds delicious to me.

  2. A clever idea to use both coffee and chocolate for a peppery sauce. Must be so delicious.

  3. I love how these flavors are perfect complement to meat!


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