Anytime “Special Occasion” Lamb
Posted on April 20, 2016
Do you sometimes find yourself wanting to make a fancier dinner
than normal, but can’t bring yourself to do it when it’s not for a holiday,
special occasion, or for company? None of those reasons should discourage you
from treating yourself and a loved one to a more elegant meal, especially one
that takes less than an hour to prepare.
Since Easter arrived much earlier than normal
this year, there’s still plenty of spring lamb to go around. There’s no need to
wait until next year, nor do you need to think of lamb merely in terms of cuts
for a crowd, like a whole leg or crown roast. Smaller cuts can be enjoyed on
any given weeknight. Because most Americans don’t eat lamb with as much
regularity as beef, chicken, or pork, it often feels more decadent whenever it
Frenched Double-cut Lamb Chops
When you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen
but don’t mind spending a little more money instead (although, still arguably less
than what you would pay at a restaurant), Frenched double-cut lamb chops are a
great option. More forgiving than single-rib chops, double-cut chops provide a
nice surface area for getting a great sear, and offer less risk of
overcooking—while still cooking very quickly. Plus, fitting four of them into a
pan without overcrowding is easy.
Some markets may not offer double-cut chops, or if they do, the
size might be larger than you need. If this is the case, purchase a rack of
lamb (it should have 8 ribs) that is about 1 1/2 pounds and ask the butcher to
cut it into four two-rib portions. “Frenched” simply refers to removing the
meat, fat, and connective tissue between the rib bones for a more attractive
presentation. Most chops are already sold this way, but if they’re not, have
the butcher to do it for you.
The chops are simply seasoned with salt and
pepper before being seared in a pan and finished in the oven. The element that
makes the lamb stand out is the refreshing mint gremolata (a chopped herb
condiment typically made with garlic, lemon zest and parsley), which is spread
on top of the lamb chops just before serving. Plated with a simple minted pea
purée, this dinner in is very
much like a
meal out, but in the comfort of your own home.
Pan-Roasted Lamb Chops with Minted Pea Puree
like mint? No problem. Feel free to use parsley in the lemon zest mixture
instead, and leave the herbs out of the pea purée
1/2 cup finely minced shallot
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
5 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Frenched double-cut lamb chops, 5 to 6 oz. each
4 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups frozen or fresh shelled peas
1. Preheat an oven to 400°F.
2. In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbs. of the shallot, the lemon
zest, 1 Tbs. of the mint, the garlic, 1 Tbs. of the oil and 1/4 tsp. salt. Set
3. Pat the lamb chops dry with paper towels, then season
generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Warm 1 Tbs. of the oil in a
large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until
browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.
4. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook 2 to 3 minutes for
medium-rare or 4 to 5 minutes for medium. Transfer to a platter and tent with
foil to keep warm.
5. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. oil
over medium heat. Add the remaining shallot and cook until softened, about 3
minutes. Add the peas and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender along with the remaining 4 Tbs. mint and 1/2
tsp. salt. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the
sides of the jar as needed.
6. Divide the lamb chops between two plates, and spread 1/4
of the shallot-lemon zest mixture onto each chop. Serve with the pea puree
You may enjoy these similar articles: