Sunday, January 02, 2011

Recipe: Pan-seared lamb chops with mixed herbs and balsamic reduction

Here's a simple yet elegant lamb dish that's sure to impress your family, friends and guests alike.

The rosemary, thyme, tarragon and balsamic reduction are a perfect match for lamb chops, which sometimes tend to taste too gamey.


I started by combining olive oil, rosemary, thyme, tarragon and salt and pepper in a small bowl. This was used to coat the lamb chops (I used 6) before searing.

Use about a tablespoon of herbs for every 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Coat the lamb chops on both sides by pouring the mixture and spreading it with a spoon. 

Set a saute pan over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add butter, then place the coated lamb chops. I suggest you sear 2 chops at a time to leave enough space between them.

Cook the lamb evenly on each side. Don't turn the chops too often as these will make them tough to chew later.

Place the lamb chops on a plate and let them rest for a few minutes as you prepare the balsamic reduction.

Set a sauce pan over medium heat and add olive oil. When the oil is hot, sweat (gentle heating with frequent stirring) 3 tablespoons of minced shallots.

Then, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of minced garlic and sweat again.

Pour 1 cup of balsamic vinegar into the mix and bring it to a boil. Then, add 1 and a half tablespoons of rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste.

Let the mixture reduce until only 1/4 cup of the balsamic vinegar remains.

This only takes a few minutes, so it's best not to leave it unattended -- during my first try, the mixture reduced too much, resulting in a very sticky glaze.

Once the reduction is ready, drizzle it on the lamb chops with a spoon, and serve.