Lamb Noisettes with Garlic and Mint

My three favorite flavor notes for lamb chops are black pepper, mint, and garlic. This simple recipe starts with making your own lamb stock, which takes awhile but requires little attention. It all comes together in an elegant dish. It’s great with fall or winter vegetables, like rutabagas or broccoli.

Lamb chops.

  • 8 double-cut lamb chops
  • 1/2 small onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 rib celery, cut into chunks
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Trim the bones from the lamb chops (or not, as you prefer). Trim any excess fat off the bones, but don’t remove any lean or cartilage. Put the bones with the onion, celery, rosemary, marjoram, and peppercorns into a medium saucepan. Cover everything with water and bring to a bare boil. Hold that for one hour. Strain the stock, rinse the saucepan, and reduce the stock to about 1/2 cup.

2. Sprinkle the lamb noisettes generously with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat with 2 Tbs. of olive oil, sear the chops for about two minutes on each side. Transfer the chops to a pan with a rack, and put them into the 325 degree oven. for about four minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 140 degrees (for a rosy medium).

3. While that’s in the oven, add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown slightly. Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil.

4. Add the lamb stock and return to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch into a teaspoon of water and add it to the sauce. Reduce until the sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon. Remove the garlic cloves.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the mint and parsley. Spoon the sauce over two lamb noisettes per person.

Serves four.

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