Inspiration: 1) I was at my parents’ house recently and had some fantastic lamb, and it made me wonder why I didn’t cook with it more. B and I both love it, and B very often orders it if it’s on the menu in a nicer restaurant. 2) B was looking through our wine shelves recently and mentioned that he’d like to have a nice dinner soon so that we could open one of our nicer bottles. 3) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was waiting to be watched and returned to Netflix. 4) Sunday nights were just made for relaxing at home with loved ones and nice suppers, weren’t they?
What we Loved: Like I said, B and I both really love lamb, and we really loved the simplicity of the way that the lamb was cooked in this recipe. It was just pan-seared with salt, pepper, and olive oil until a nice crust formed, which is really my favorite way to cook an expensive cut of meat when the grill isn’t an option (which ours wasn’t, as it’s buried in snow). I always feel like you shouldn’t use too many ingredients, sauces, etc. and risk losing the actual flavor of the meat. That being said, the mint sauce that went on top of the lamb in this recipe was a really great compliment to the flavor of the meat itself, not obscuring it but offering such a fresh and minty contrast. I cut up my lamb and mixed it all together with the sauce, giving me just a tiny dollop of the sauce with each bite, which was perfect. We ate this lamb alongside some wild mushrooms sauteed with garlic and some mashed cauliflower mixed with carmelized onions and Parmesan. Such a perfect meal!
Helpful Hints: This is the first time that I’ve ever cooked with mint. Until now, I was hesitant and a little scared to do it. I don’t care for sweet and savory combinations (ham with pineapple, chicken or fish with fruit, etc.), and I really didn’t think that I would enjoy lamb with chewing gum. However, I’m so glad that I gave this a try. The mint flavor added such a bright and fresh component to this dish that was unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. So if you’re scared, I’d recommend trying it anyway!
Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata
I adapted the recipe slightly. Here’s the recipe as I made it.
For the Lamb
Lamb chops (desired amount)
Kosher salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
For the Gremolata
1 handful mint leaves
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
Kosher salt and black pepper
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Take your lamb chops out of the fridge, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Let the chops sit for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
2. While the chops are coming to room temperature, make the gremolata sauce. Add all of the ingredients into a small food processor, and process until finely chopped.
3. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add a good drizzle of olive oil and about a tablespoon of butter. Add the lamb chops, cover the pan, and cook for approximately 4 minutes. Once you place the chops in the pan, don’t touch them until you’re ready to flip. This will help create a sear.
4. Flip the lamb chops, and cook for approximately 4 minutes longer for rare. If you like your meat medium or medium-well, cook longer. The cooking time will depend upon the thickness of the chops and your tastes.
4. Serve the lamb chops topped with the gremolata.