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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Seared Petite Lamb Chops with Rosemary Balsamic Reduction



Seared Petite Lamb Chops
(Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
1 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
Kosher salt
6 (4 ounce) double lamb rib chops (2 ribs) with bones attached, ribs frenched
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp minced shallots
1 tsp finely minced garlic
1 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1 lg or 2 small rosemary sprigs
2 Tbsp butter

Step-by-Step:
 
Herb and oil dressing.
  •  In a small bowl, combine olive oil, parsley, rosemary, and garlic.
  • Season with salt to taste.
  • Set aside.

  • The beginning of the balsamic reduction
    While the lamb is cooking, make the balsamic drizzle.
      • Set a 1 quart saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp olive oil.
      • Once the oil is hot, add the shallots to the pan and sweat them until translucent, about 1 minute.
      • Add the garlic to the pan and sweat for 30 seconds.
      • Pour the balsamic vinegar into the pan and bring to a boil.
      • Add the rosemary and allow the balsamic to gently boil and reduce until only about 1/4 cup of balsamic remains (10-15 minutes).
      • Season with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper.
      • Remove from heat and swirl the butter into the pan.
      • Remove the rosemary sprigs (if you left them whole) before using, but not necessary if they are chopped.

     











 

  • Set a 12 inch cast iron or oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat.
  • Season the lamb with 1 Tbsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of black pepper.
  • Add 1 1/2 tsp of the oil to the saute pan and place the lamb, fat side down, in the pan.
  • Sear the lamb until the fat has rendered and the skin is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  •  Continue to cook the lamb, turning to cook evenly on each side, about 2 minutes on each side.
  • Baste the lamb chops with the herb and oil mixture.
  • Grill the chops until desired temperature is achieved.  (see food notes at bottom)
  • Alternatively, you can transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the lamb is done in the 400 degree oven.

  •  When the lamb is finished cooking, remove from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  •  To serve, slice each double chop in half (optional) and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

Written Method:
Herb and oil dressing: In a small bowl, combine olive oil, parsley, rosemary, and garlic. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

While the lamb is cooking, make the balsamic drizzle.
Set a 1 quart saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the shallots to the pan and sweat them until translucent, about 1 minute. Add the garlic to the pan and sweat for 30 seconds. Pour the balsamic vinegar into the pan and bring to a boil. Add the rosemary and allow the balsamic to gently boil and reduce until only about 1/4 cup of balsamic remains (10-15 minutes). Season with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Remove from heat and swirl the butter into the pan.  Remove the rosemary sprigs (if you left them whole) before using, but not necessary if they are chopped.

Set a 12 inch cast iron or oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat.  Season the lamb with 1 Tbsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Add 1 1/2 tsp of the oil to the saute pan and place the lamb, fat side down, in the pan. Sear the lamb until the fat has rendered and the skin is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook the lamb, turning to cook evenly on each side, about 2 minutes on each side.  Baste the lamb chops with the herb and oil mixture.  Grill the chops until desired temperature is achieved.  (see food notes at bottom)  Alternatively, you can transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the lamb is done in the 400 degree oven.  When the lamb is finished cooking, remove from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.  To serve, slice each double chop in half (optional) and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.
 
Food Nerd Notes:
Grilled and roasted meats, such as this American lamb, always benefits from rest before serving—the rest allows the meat's juices to settle. Give thin cuts like chops 5 minutes before serving. Keep in mind that the meat's internal temperature typically rises 5-10 degrees as it rests. Remove lamb from cooking heat when the thermometer reads 5-10 degrees less than your desired temperature.  (To ensure lamb remains safe throughout cooking, the USDA recommends cooking ground lamb to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160oF as measured on a food thermometer. Other cuts, including roasts and chops, should be cooked to 145oF for medium-rare, 160oF for medium, and 170oF for well-done.)

A rack of ribs is "frenched" when the meat and fat are scraped away from the bones, so distinct ribs are visible. Frenching isn't necessary; it just looks nice and makes it easy for the eventual carver to separate into chops.

Balsamic vinegar is a condiment originating from Italy.  The original product is made from a reduction of cooked white Trebbiano grape juice, and not a vinegar in the usual sense.  Balsamic vinegar has been made in Modena and Reggio Emilia since the Middle Ages, and its production is mentioned in a document dating back to 1046.  Today, the traditional balsamic vinegar is highly valued by chefs and gourmet food lovers.  The thick syrup, called mosto cotto in Italian, is aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The casks are made of different woods.  True balsamic vinegar is rich, glossy, deep brown in color and has a complex flavour that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks.

 
** This recipe was a shared venture with my sweetheart.  Thanks Gregg... 

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