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Lamb Chops With Mint and Mashed Cauliflower

Al Hernandez | September 7, 2016

Thick lamb loin chops prepared with mint, garlic, and balsamic vinegar served over a bed of cauliflower "mashed potatoes." Mint is a classic pairing with lamb, but this recipe also includes garlic, creating a fuller flavor. For those who find the use of mint jelly when cooking lamb overwhelming, the combination of fresh mint and garlic provides a welcome and light alternative. Serve this dish over cauliflower "mashed potatoes" for a light and tasty meal.  

Level
Intermediate
Prep Time
10-15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Serves
4
Cook it With Our
Lamb Chops With Mint and Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 12 (1-1 1/2-inch-thick) lamb loin chops
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

  1. Season the lamb chops on both sides with salt; set aside. 
  2. In small bowl, mix the mint, garlic, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together. Add ¼ cup of the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until it thickens into an emulsion. Taste for salt. Set aside. (You may need to rewhisk it into an emulsion just before serving.)
  3. Rinse the cauliflower under cold running water. Remove and discard the outer leaves. Using a knife, cut off the stem and remove the core from the cauliflower, discarding both. Break or cut the cauliflower into small florets. Bring 1/4-1/2 inch water to a boil in a covered medium saucepan over medium heat. Place the florets in a steamer basket, set in the saucepan, cover, and steam until the cauliflower is tender, 8-10 minutes. 
  4. While the cauliflower steams, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil a 15 Inch Cast Iron Skillet over medium-high heat about 1 minute. Add the lamb chops (you may need to cook them in batches) and cook 2-5 minutes per side, depending on their thickness and your desired degree of doneness (2-3 minutes per side for rare and 5 minutes plus for medium to medium well). Remove to a plate, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest while you finish the cauliflower. 
  5. Remove the steamer basket from the saucepan and discard the steaming water. Melt the butter in the pan, add the florets, and mash as you would for mashed potatoes. (For a smoother consistency, do this in a blender or food processor.) Add the cream and heat through over low heat, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, spoon cauliflower mash in the center of each plate, surround with 3 lamb chops, and spoon a little of the sauce over each chop.
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Contributed By: Al Hernandez

Al Hernandez is the food and wine editor for The Vine Times

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