Sunday, June 26, 2011

Edible East End's Festival of Seven Ingredients: Lamb

Edible Publication's Eat Drink Local Week Day 3: Lamb

While smaller lamb flocks are raised in the Northeast on grass, most of America's large flocks of lamb are raised in grasslands west of the Mississippi River then grain finished. While I love to pick up local lamb at the Union Square Farmers Market, today's lunch is American and pasture-raised lamb that I purchased at Fresh Direct.
One of my go to recipes for butterflied leg of lamb on the grill is from Steven Raichlen's The Barbecue Bible for Moroccan Barbecued Lamb ( "Mechouie" which means whole roasted lamb) which I adapted for the lamb chops.
One and a half inch thick chops, bone in, loin lamb chops -- perfect for the grill -- slathered in spice butter during cooking ....
and topped with onion, vinegar and mint sauce with a sprinkle of salt and cumin. Delicious hot off the grill, or in a sandwich the next day.

Moroccan BBQ Lamb Chops
Adapted from Steven Raichlin

4 lamb chops

For the butter:
1/3 stick of butter
1-2 cloves of garlic
6 large mint leaves, fresh
1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin

For the sauce
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon white wine or distilled white vinegar
6 large mint leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon mint jelly
1/2 chicken broth

Side dish

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Combine the butter ingredients in a small food processor and process to a smooth paste. When ready to cook, make a slit in the middle of the lamb chops and divide the butter into four equal parts. Spread the butter inside the slit and on the top of the chops. Set aside until ready to cook. Prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in small, heavy sauce pan. Add the onion, garlic and sautee until slightly brown. Then add the vinegar, fresh mint, mint jelly and bring to a boil. Add the chicken broth, and reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside and reheat when ready to serve.

Place chops on the grill, butter side up, and grill for 4 minutes for rare, 6 minutes for medium and 8 minutes for well-done. When ready to turn to the other side, remove the chops to a bowl and pour out the melted butter before returning to the grill. Using a brush, brush on the reserved butter to the cooked side of the lamb. If the lamb starts to burn, lower the heat. Lamb is cooked when the internal temperature is rare (140 degrees F), medium (160 degrees F), well-done (170 degrees F).

Let chops sit for 5 minutes before serving. Place one chop in the center of each dinner plate and add the sauce. Garnish with a mint leaf. Serve with extra cumin and salt in small bowls.

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