After the holiday cooking marathon, I always like to simplify things for a week or two. Read more…
Archive for the ‘Lamb’ CategoryPrint This Post
In the late 80s and early 90s I used to go to a lot of cocktail parties in conjunction with my job. I remember that every now and then I was thrilled to be offered little tiny lamb chops. They were passed on a platter, and you just took one, held it like a lollipop and munched away. They were delicious, and surprisingly, not messy at all. This recipe is how I imagine they were prepared. I buy my lamb chops at Costco—they are good and more affordable than those at my grocery store. They are also a little bit (but not much) larger than those I was served at that long-ago party—and I don’t serve them as an appetizer—they are a centerpiece main course. For a light spring dinner, serve these with roasted red potatoes and asparagus.
Pan Fried Lamb Chops with Garlic and Herbs
8 lamb chops (buy a rack and cut into singles)
¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons, fresh thyme, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
Whisk together the olive oil, mustard, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Dry the chops with a paper towel and lay them in a glass dish. Pour the oil mixture over and let marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Remove the lamb chops from the marinade and salt and pepper them lightly on both sides. Sauté them for a minute or two on each side, until they have a nice brown outside, but are still pink inside.
Remove from the pan and serve immediately.
Since Ted Kennedy’s death last week, I’ve been thinking about the Irish. Somewhere around half of my own heritage is Irish–and while I was watching the news coverage about the Senator and his family–it was interesting that as much of an icon of America as the Kennedy family has become–they are so frequently cited for their Irishness. I noted that Ted Kennedy was called “a great big burly Irishman”…or a “fun-loving romantic Irishman”…or his “Irish love of the sea” or “Irish sense of humor” were used to describe his nature.
And when I walked into the library this morning front and center was a display of books on the Kennedy family and in particular, Teddy Kennedy. And I thought that ever since I was a little girl, the Kennedy family has periodically become the center of our country’s attention–sometimes for good, sometimes not–but their influence on our country and our shared fascination about them is really remarkable.
So when it came time to think about dinner, I decided that in honor of Teddy, and the Kennedy’s, I would make a traditional Irish stew. Made with lamb, potatoes, carrots and onions, this famous stew is easy to make and a comfort to eat, especially with a slice or two of crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
May your day be touched
By a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.
First make a Lamb Stock:
Ingredients for Lamb Stock
Bones from a 4-5 pound lamb shoulder
2 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, sliced in 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup tomato paste
Preparation for Lamb Stock
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put the lamb bones, onion, celery and carrots into a roasting pan and roast until the bone is browned and the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Put the bones and the vegetables into a stockpot. Add a cup or two of water to the roasting pan and scrape up all of the brown bits. Pour the liquid into the stockpot. Add 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and add the tomato paste, stirring until combined. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour and a half. Remove the bones and the vegetables and strain the stock.
Ingredients for Stew
1 4-5 pound lamb shoulder, bones removed and reserved to make the stock
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
2 onions, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 4 fresh sprigs)
1 bay leaf
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
Preparation for Stew
Cut the lamb into cubes, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the lamb, onions, carrots, mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring for five minutes or until the onions are wilted.
Sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add lamb stock to cover, the thyme and the bay leaf. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Cook the diced potatoes and turnip in a separate pot of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes. When the stew has finished simmering, add the potatoes and turnips and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Correct the seasoning and serve.