What to serve with these seared lamb chops with mint herb sauce? Irish tradition calls for potatoes. Photo by: Sara Moulton via AP
March 15, 2017 10:20:19 AM
St. Patrick's Day, aka the Feast of St. Patrick, is devoted not only to "the wearing o' the green," but the eating of the green. Both customs nod to the color of the shamrock, one of the great totems of Ireland, of which Patrick is the patron saint.
Like the shamrock, mint is green, which helps to explain why recipes for lamb with a sweet-and-sour mint sauce abound in Ireland (and throughout the British Isles). My version of the sauce isn't sweet -- I'm no fan of sweet in my savory -- but it is bright green, deeply flavorful and refreshing, a tangy complement to some thin and crispy lamb chops.
The lamb chops available in our supermarkets usually come from America or New Zealand. American chops tend to be larger and milder in flavor, but either kind would be delicious here. I call for these rib chops to be pounded, which creates more surface area, which means a more delicious crust on the chops once they've been seared in the skillet. The easiest way to pound them (or any thin piece of meat) is to sprinkle the chops liberally with water on both sides, put them into a ziplock bag or between two pieces of plastic wrap, and then pound them with a meat pounder or rolling pin until they're uniformly 1/4-inch thick. (The water keeps them from sticking to the plastic and shredding.)
If you don't want to spring for rib chops -- they can be a tad pricey -- use shoulder chops instead. Shoulder chops are tasty, but the bone in the center of the chop will prevent you from pounding them. Because they're thicker than the pounded rib chops, they require a little more cooking time.
What to serve with these chops? Irish tradition calls for potatoes. Just slice some Yukon Golds about 1/4-inch thick, toss them with oil, salt and pepper, and roast them in a 400 F oven until golden.
SEARED LAMB CHOPS WITH MINT HERB SAUCE
Start to finish: 40 minutes.
8 trimmed, Frenched rib chops (about 2 ounces each)
For the sauce:
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
Nutrition information per serving: 515 calories; 424 calories from fat; 47 g fat (13 g saturated; 1 g transfats); 71 mg cholesterol; 380 mg sodium; 3 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 20 g protein.