It's sort of funny how having this blog is influencing my eating habits. For example, I now make more of a conscious effort to prepare a variety of meats, chicken, fish and vegetables rather than the same old, same old that I would probably do if people weren't watching, so to say. Even though I've sort of been craving some sort of black bean soup, I realize that I made a bean soup last week.
I was already planning on making grilled endive with quince vinaigrette for dinner but wasn't sure what to make for my entree. I do a lot of chicken so I steered away from that. What else would go well the the endive? Beef? Perhaps. Lamb? Lamb and quince are nice together. Lamb seems like a good idea. I browsed Epicurious for some inspiration and found this recipe.
Cooking most red meats is really easy since you don't really have to worry about it being under cooked. The traditional steak au piovre is as simple as it is elegant but switching out the beef fillet for lamb chops gives it a nice little twist.
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
6 (3/4 to 1-inch-thick) rib lamb chops, bones frenched and fat trimmed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Cognac
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
Coarsely crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.
Pat the lamb chops dry with some paper towel and season each side with salt. Press the crushed peppercorns into each side.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the chops 2 minutes per side (for medium-rare).
Transfer chops to a plate and cover with foil.
In the fat remaining in the pan, saute the shallot, stirring, until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and Cognac and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add butter, swirlling until melted and combined, as well as any meat juices that may have accumulated on the plate. I cooked my sauce down quite a bit, as you can see, but you can leave it as thin as you wish.
Taste and season with salt if necessary. Serve the sauce over the lamb.
The lamb is soft and velvetly and the peppercorns are fantastically intense which gets ballanced out by the buttery sauce. How I love meat. Along with the lamb and the grilled endive, I served a big scoop of lima bean puree.