Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Lamb Shoulder Chops (Iceland)

Written By: Chris - Nov• 07•13

In recent months, I’ve encountered Chimichurri.  Not only is it fun to say, but it’s a wonderful, fresh sauce that brightens anything it comes in contact with.  I’ve been finding it on a lot of menu’s and have been seeing it prepared with various chefs on the Food Network.  It seems that this sauce appears, like many ingredients (like Polenta) to be experiencing a recent flash of widespread popularity in the United States and everybody is using it.  Chef Bobby Flay says that this sauce is Argentina’s answer to barbecue sauce.  He suggests letting it do all the work as both a marinade and a dipping sauce.

I had picked up some Lamb Shoulder Chops at the new Whole Foods store after the gentleman behind the counter told me that these type were the best!  He said that Icelandic lamb is a wonderfully flavorful, exceptionally lean meat from animals raised with no antibiotics, ever and no added hormones.  I have prepared lamb chops using a simple marinade in the past that my friend Pete had taught me some time ago while visiting them in Seattle.  After some research, I learned that Chimichurri sauce is traditionally made with olive oil, lots of fresh parsley, lemon, garlic and shallots and it is most often used as a sauce on grilled meats and fish.  Some recipes use it as a sauce, on top of a cooked piece of meat, but once I assembled my version of Chimichurri using lots of ingredients that I had on hand, I determined that it is was a lot like the marinade that I’ve typically used!  So whether you use chimichurri as a sauce or a marinade, it’s a great addition to cooked or grilled meat and poultry.

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Ingredients:
3 Lamb Shoulder Chops
Grape seed Oil

Mint Chimichurri:
1 Cup fresh Mint Leaves, chopped fine
1/2 Cup fresh Flat-leaf Parsley leaves, chopped fine
1/3 Cup fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped fine
4 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1 Serrano Chile, roasted and seeded and chopped fine (maybe a half, it was hot!)
1/2 Lemon, juice & rind
2 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper

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Roast the pepper over an open flame charring it completely.  Place it in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap and allow to steam for about ten to fifteen minutes before removing the skin, stem and seeds.  Chop very fine!

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Chop the fresh herbs and combine with the other ingredients listed above for the Chimichurri.  Then place the lamb chops in the bowl, turning to evenly coat the meat.

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Marinate at room temperature for an hour (or in the refrigerator for at least two hours).

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Remove the chops from the Chimichurri/marinade and discard the marinade. (If there is a lot of sauce, you may want to lightly scrape the remaining marinade off the chops.)  Preheat a large cast-iron grill pan over high heat before placing the chops in the pan.  Cook until they are browned well, about five minutes before turning to cook on the other side.  Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook until medium-rare, about two to four additional minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees.  Allow the chops rest for five minutes before serving.

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Bill and I thought that the fat is like butter, the meat was very tender and flavorful, but we found that they have a lot more fat than we prefer so I’ll go back to normal style lamb chops in the future.

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We enjoyed a simple salad made with Arugula and fresh Kale that was topped with my vinaigrette and a terrific cheese with cranberries and pumpkin seeds.

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The chop was served on roasted red pepper sauce, (I will post very soon!) a side fresh asparagus and a sweet potato latke.  Bill paired our meal with a 2011 Famiglia Meschini Gran Reserva Malbec.  This wine was dry and full-bodied with a slightly tart acidity.  It was terrific!

Enjoy!

Cheers!
~Chris

 

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