Lamb Chops with Vegetable Ragout
Chefs at haute restaurants often use the most expensive cuts of meat: Consider Nish's Loin of Colorado Lamb with Five Herbs, Summer Truffles and Late Summer Vegetable Pistou. To make the dish more accessible, we swapped lamb chops for the more costly boneless lamb loin and streamlined the complicated preparation as well.
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 double lamb loin chops (8 to 10 ounces each)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups water
- 2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps quartered
- 1/4 pound small chanterelles, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons very finely chopped shallots
- 1/2 cup dry French vermouth
- 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- 1. In a large shallow dish, mix together 1 tablespoon each of the basil and parsley, 1 teaspoon of the tarragon, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 minced garlic clove. Rub the herb mixture all over the lamb chops and season them generously with salt and pepper. Let the lamb chops stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and for up to 2 hours.
- 2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°. In a large skillet, bring the water to a boil. Add the carrots and a pinch of salt and cover. Simmer the carrots over low heat for 4 minutes. Add the turnip, cover and cook until both vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the vegetables and transfer them to a plate. Return the skillet to low heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the shiitake and season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and cook the shiitake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the chanterelles, cover and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the shallots and the remaining 2 garlic cloves and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and turnip, cover and remove the vegetables from the heat.
- 3. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb chops and cook them over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the lamb chops over and roast them in the oven for about 8 minutes for medium rare. Transfer the lamb chops to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm.
- 4. Discard the fat from the skillet and set it over moderately high heat. Add the vermouth and cook until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes. Add any accumulated lamb juices and pour the liquid over the reserved vegetables. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and simmer until hot. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon each of chopped basil and parsley and 1 teaspoon of chopped tarragon. Season the ragout with salt and pepper.
- 5. Spoon the vegetable ragout into shallow bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top each plate with a lamb chop and serve at once.
- Make Ahead: The vegetable ragout can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
- Wine Recommendation: The herbs on these lamb chops are well matched by the pepper and licorice-like notes of a concentrated Australian Shiraz. Two possibilities: the 1998 Stonehaven Limestone Coast Shiraz and the 1998 Rosemount Blue Mountain Shiraz.
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