Saturday, November 17, 2007

Herbed Lamb Chops with Pinot Noir Sauce

Who says you must have turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner. Actually I really don't even like turkey. Besides Thanksgiving shouldn't be about turkey, it should be about family coming together. And it shouldn't be about spending all of your time in the kitchen.

So I'm adding my basic alternative menu for Thanksgiving where lamb is the main dish. Then there is a delicious stuffing that works as a side dish, and a wonderful vegetable side dish. You can add a basic roasted potato next to them and have a complete menu.

I hope you enjoy them all:)

As for this recipe, it is from Bon Appetit. Very easy to make, although it seems complicated when you read it first. It really isn't.

If you can't find lamb riblets or stew meat, you can use low sodium beef broth.

This is one of those recipes that I haven't changed a thing:)


For Sauce:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 pounds lamb neck stew meat or lamb riblets
1 pound onions, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence (I'm adding the recipe for it at the bottom)
4 1/3 cups Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons all purpose flour

For Lamb:
1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 1 1/2-pound well-trimmed 8-rib racks of lamb, preferably frenched

For sauce:

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add lamb and sauté until deep brown, turning occasionally, about 18 minutes. Using tongs, transfer lamb to bowl.

Add onions, carrot, garlic, and herbes de Provence to pot. Sauté until vegetables are deep brown, about 8 minutes. Add wine and broth to pot; return lamb and any accumulated juices to pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered 1 1/2 hours.

Strain into large bowl, pressing on solids in strainer to release all stock. Spoon off any fat from surface of stock; return stock to same large pot. Simmer until reduced to 1 1/3 cups, about 15 minutes.

Mix butter and flour in small bowl to smooth paste.Whisk paste into stock. Simmer sauce until slightly thickened and smooth, whisking constantly, about 1 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Transfer to small saucepan, cover, and chill. Rewarm before using.)

For lamb:
Stir fresh herbs and pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add 2 tablespoons oil and mix until herbs are sticking together. Sprinkle lamb racks with salt. Firmly press 1/3 of herb mixture over rounded side of each rack to cover. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Place on large rimmed baking sheet. Cover; chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 lamb rack to skillet, herbed side down. Sauté until browned, about 4 minutes. Turn rack over and sauté until browned, about 3 minutes. Place rack, herbed side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Repeat, fitting remaining racks on same sheet.

Roast lamb until thermometer inserted into center registers 135°F for medium-rare, about 25 minutes.

Let lamb rest on sheet 15 to 20 minutes. Cut lamb between bones into individual chops. Arrange 3 chops on each plate. Drizzle with sauce and serve.

Makes 8 servings



3 Tbsp dried marjoram
3 Tbsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp dried savory
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and spoon into a tightly-lidded jar. Store in a cool, dark place up to four months. Use to season chicken, vegetables or meat.

Yield: 3/4 cup

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