Monday, April 10, 2017

Lambchops with Rosemary & Garlic

With Easter coming up this weekend, I thought I would share an Easter-y dish. I do find it a bit morbid that we call Jesus the "Lamb of God" and then we proceed to eat lamb for Easter. But I suppose it's in the same vein of pretending we're eating eggs when we crack open a Cadbury creme or devouring hollow chocolate bunnies like it's not violent and sick.

Either way, I'm not going to complain about delicious food.

I do tend to find lamb to be a bit gamey so I like to prepare it simply with bold seasonings. I prefer the simple method because I would hate to spend loads of time on something only to have it still taste a bit gamey. On this particular day, I went with lots of garlic, rosemary and lemon zest. I also made a quick gremolata, which I find to be just the most elegant topping for a simply prepared cut of meat, and it hit the spot so well.
Ingredients [serves 2]:
chops
4 to 6 lamb rib chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs rosemary
1 teaspoon lemon zest

gremolata
¼ cup parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest

This is one of those dishes that can be thrown together in less than twenty minutes. Start with room temperature meat; it cooks quicker, it cooks more evenly, and it maintains a more palatable texture. Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
Get a skillet heating over medium high heat and add in a glug of olive oil and nestle some rosemary and smashed garlic into the pan. Fat absorbs flavor really well so the oil will get nice and perfumey and delicious. Once the garlic and rosemary are sizzling, add in the meat. For a medium rare doneness, which I think is optimal for lamb, cook for about three minutes on each side. Don't disturb the meat too early because you want it to get good and caramelized.
While the meat is going, you can get some lemon zest prepared, as both a topping for the lamb and for the gremolata.
When the chops are done, remove them from the heat, top with the crisped up rosemary and garlic, and then top with a sprinkle of lemon zest. The residual heat will release more essential oils from the zest and it will smell extra amazing.
To make the gremolata, simply mix up some lemon zest, chopped parsley, and minced garlic. It's that simple.
To serve alongside the chops, I also roasted some vegetables and made an Israeli couscous with lots of fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey, and then I stirred the roasted vegetables right into the couscous.
Additionally, my sister whipped up some tzatziki and crumbled some feta and we were ready to dig in.
The lamb was lovely and tender and flavorful. I think that the lemon zest really brightens up the flavors of the fatty chops and keeps it from feeling too heavy. And I really enjoyed the side dishes' nod to Mediterranean cuisine because that also kept this meal feeling light and springy. It was a deliciously balanced meal and even though we don't eat lamb v. often (mostly because it's pricey) I might make an effort to look out for sales at the grocery store because it is pretty delicious.
Here's the recipe page:

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