It’s wonderful what can transpire when you have a conversation about food with a good friend. My friend Mark recently received various cuts of lamb from his family (how lucky!), who bought a whole lamb from the local county fair and had it fabricated.
He asked for some suggestions on how to cook lamb, so I gave him a few tasty ideas. A week later Mark surprised me with a pound of lamb chops! I created a recipe that I thought would be a simple and flavorful way to showcase the beauty of this meat. I made a recipe for sautéed rosemary and thyme lamb chops with butter braised vegetables and cauliflower puree.
Begin by seasoning the lamb generously with salt and pepper, then marinating the meat with fresh rosemary, thyme, garlic, cayenne and olive oil for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare the butter braised vegetables by blanching the brussels sprouts until tender, about 4 minutes. Shock them in cold water and reserve.
Boil the red and white baby potatoes until fork tender about 6 to 8 minutes, then cool.
Finely chop the shallots to add some aromatics to the vegetables.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan, add the shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Insert the turnips, sugar and vinegar, season generously with salt and pepper, and add ¼ cup of the stock.
Bring to a simmer, cover the pan, and simmer gently for about 7 to 8 minutes, until the turnips are tender. Cook uncovered swirling the pan, to glaze the turnips, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
In a new pan, simmer 1/4 cup of chicken stock, then whisk in 4 tablespoons of butter until emulsified and smooth.
Add the brussels sprouts and potatoes and cook for 1 minute on high heat. Insert the turnips to heat through, toss the vegetables together, season and garnish with chives.
For the lamb chops, heat some canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the 4 chops and sear for about 2 minutes until browned.
Flip the lamb chops and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare and 3 ½ minutes for medium.
Add some sprigs of rosemary and thyme to the saute pan to infuse some of the flavors into the oil, and then coat the lamb chops with some of the oil for extra flavor and moisture.
With the oil remaining in the pan, add about 1-2 tablespoons of flour and whisk to create a golden brown roux. Deglaze the pan with about ¼ cup of white wine, whisk to combine. Add enough chicken stock to create nice sauce consistency, start with ¼ cup or stick at a time, and whisk. Season with salt and pepper. Strain the sauce and keep warm.
Searing the lamb chops in hot oil in a saute pan gives a nice caramelization on the chops, especially the edges of the bone when there is extra marbling.
The chops are relatively thin, and they tend to cook very quickly, so only sear the chops for a few minutes on each side if you like medium-rare to medium doneness of the meat.
The lamb was incredibly tender and very mild in flavor. The potent herbs complimented the delicious lamb very nicely. I would suggest pairing the rosemary and thyme lamb chops with a nice pinot or medium bodied red wine.