I’ve posted more than one fish recipe on this fledgling blog. So, lest you all think I’m becoming a pescatarian, I wanted to share a recipe for some red meat.
Yes, I’ve read the news that red meat and processed meat are bad for you. Honestly, that doesn’t seem like news, we were warned about processed meats and red meat causing colon cancer several years ago. And, that’s something our family needs to work on. Sometimes it seems like my husband thinks cold ham is the only thing he can eat for lunch. And the boys and I all love Genoa salami and cheddar cheese way too much.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have ANY red meat, just not TOO MUCH red meat. So, since we’re not supposed to eat a lot, let’s make sure what we do eat is extra delicious.
These succulent lamb chops are some of my favorites. Rubbed with herbs and cooked medium rare, then topped with a sweet, tangy balsamic reduction, they’re an easy elegant, meal that’s done in about 15 minutes of active cooking time.
I purchase a rack of lamb from Costco and separate it into chops, usually about 8. Once you slice them, rub the herb mixture on them and let them rest for 15 minutes. Then cook them on the stove for a total of 7 minutes (3-1/2 minutes per side), for medium rare. Make sure you set the timer for this or you might overcook them. And, with lamb being so expensive, you don’t want to ruin them by overcooking them.
Once they’re done, put them on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Don’t put them in a warm oven like I did the first time. They’ll continue to cook in there. And remember, we don’t want to overcook them. Leave them on the counter covered with foil, they’ll still be warm enough by the time the sauce is ready.
Return to the pan and sauté the onions and garlic for three minutes, until they’re soft and translucent. Then add the balsamic vinegar and chicken stock. Be careful not to be standing right over the pan when you pour in the vinegar or you’ll breath in the hot fumes. (Ouch!) Let the mixture cook down to a thick glaze, which takes about five minutes. When you can draw your spatula through the sauce and it stays parted on the pan for a second or two, it’s ready. Be patient with this step. If you increase the sauce, you’ll have to increase the cooking time as it’ll take longer to cook off the extra liquid. Once it’s done add the butter, then serve the chops with the glaze on top.
Super fun fact: it’s considered proper manners to eat lamb chops with your fingers. You hold it by the bone and eat the meat right off the bone. That’s why they’re sometimes called lamb lollipops.
This recipe is adapted from PGRAYMENDOZA’s Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction.
Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction
1-1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
8 lamb chops (3/4 inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced sweet yellow onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
Mix together the herbs, salt and pepper, grinding them a bit with a mortar and pestle to help release the oils. Rub this on both side of the lamb chops, then let them sit for 15 minutes to absorb the flavors and come to room temperature.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then cook the lamb chops for 3-1/2 minutes each side. (Remember to set a time so you don’t over cook them.) Remove from the skillet to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.
Add the onions and garlic to the pan and cook until translucent, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, then the chicken stock, stirring to scrape up any bits from the pan. Allow to cook down until reduced by half, about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter.
Serve the chops with the glaze spooned on top. I like to serve this with polenta or mashed potatoes, which go really well with the glaze too.