Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lamb Rib Chops with Quick Cherry Pan Sauce

Wow. I never realized how expensive lamb rib chops are...and also how delicious. (On a side note: some people that work for my parents put a couple of sheep out at my parent's ranch and it's funny to hear my mom baa and meh over the phone when she's trying to tell me how they were keeping her up at night.) I've never made them before and subsequently never bought them at the store. I also never realized how small they are...this is beginning to sound like the game "I've never"...
This is an easy recipe even if you pit the cherries yourself. I like cherries and all but I also think the lamb would be tasty on it's own or with another topping.

3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 3/4- to 1-inch-thick lamb rib chops
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, halved, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup unsweetened black cherry juice
1 cup halved pitted fresh Bing cherries or other dark sweet cherries (about 7 ounces whole unpitted cherries)
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided

Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix flour, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper on large plate. Lightly coat lamb chops with flour mixture; shake off excess. Melt butter with oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb chops and cook to desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer chops to baking sheet and keep warm in oven while preparing sauce (do not clean skillet).

Add onion to same skillet and sauté 2 minutes. Add cherry juice and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until liquid is slightly reduced and onion is slightly softened, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes. Stir in cherries and half of basil and cook 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Place 2 lamb chops on each of 4 plates. Spoon sauce over. Sprinkle remaining basil over and serve.

I made this with the mesculun and cherry salad with warm goat cheese and found both recipes in the June 2008 issue of bon appetit!

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