Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oven Finished Lamb Chops

16 lamb loin chops (1 inch thick)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position. Place a rimmed cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan on the oven rack. Preheat oven to 425F.

Trim any excess fat from the lamb. Drizzle some olive oil over the lamb chops. Sprinkle salt, pepper and the herbs over the lamb chops on both sides. Rub seasoning into meat and let marinate for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.

Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add lamb chops to skillet, do not crowd. Cook in two batches if necessary. Cook for 4 minutes on first side until well browned and a nice crust has formed. Cook second side for 2 minute. Turn the chops on the sides, standing them against one another if necessary. Rotate and brown all sides for another 2 minutes, total. Remove lamb chops to platter if searing a second batch. Add more oil and butter to pan and continue searing the remaining lamb chops.

Transfer lamb chops to preheated roasting pan. Roast until instant read thermometer reads 125F for medium rare or 130F for medium, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the lamb chops from oven unto a platter. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with pan sauce, mashed or roast potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and mint sauce or jelly.

Simple Pan Sauce
1 tablespoon of flour
2 medium shallots, minced
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon butter

While lamb chops are in the oven, make pan sauce.

Pour off most of the fat, keeping about 1 1/2 tablespoon. Add minced shallots and saute over medium heat until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrapping up the browned bits. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir until cooked, about a minute. Add 1 cup of chicken stock, stirring to incorporate. Increase heat and simmer until reduced to 1/2 a cup about 5 minutes. Add butter, stir to mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Simple Mint Sauce
1 cup white vinegar
6 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves

Cook the sugar and vinegar together over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Cool. Stir in minced mint leaves. Alternatively, pulse cooled sugar/vinegar syrup with whole mint leaves in blender. Set aside for at least 10 minutes for flavors to blend together before serving.

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