Lamb Chops with Homemade Mint Sauce
Lamb chops are a simple and tasty meal that the whole family always enjoys. Here is how to make irresistible lamb chops with a simple home-made mint sauce that will surprise one and all.
Nothing like a simple meal of lamb chops when you’re in that “I just can’t be bothered” frame of mind. So with this in mind let’s keep the preparation and cooking efforts to a bare minimum while still delivering a great nutritious meal that always goes down well with the whole family.
- 12 Lamb Chops (loin, shoulder, leg or whatever you have. I tend to use a mix of loin and leg chops with this recipe)
- ½ Cup of Fresh Mint
- ¼ Cup of Port/Red Wine (a sweet Marsala Wine works real well)
- 1 Small Onion
- 1 Shallot
- 2 Clove of Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon each of Butter and Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon each of Salt, Freshly Ground Pepper, Five Spices Mix, Basil, Rosemary and Thyme
- A little Potato Starch (for thickening if required or desired)
- Mince the garlic (using a garlic press is easiest)
- Finely mince the shallot
- Finely dice the onion
- Finely chop the mint; 2 Teaspoons of which will be very finely diced for use in the seasoning
- Mix the basil, rosemary, five spices seasoning, thyme, pepper, salt and 2 teaspoons of very finely diced mint together very thoroughly
- Rub some of the olive oil over all sides of the lamb chops. Then liberally apply the seasoning to the chops and let sit for 5 minutes.
Cooking the Lamb
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- In a hot pan (I prefer to use a cast iron frying pan) add a little olive oil and the butter
- Once the butter has melted and you have quickly stirred to combine the butter and the olive oil start cooking the lamb. Do not overcrowd your fry pan so you may need to cook in batches. Add an even portion of onion with each batch of lamb chops. If cooking in two batches then half of the onions should be added first.
- Brown the lamb for about three minutes on all sides
- Transfer lamb to a rack or another pan and place into oven. Remove some of the onions from the fry pan and put on top of the lamb chops prior to putting the lamb chops into the oven.
- Cook lamb for another 10 minutes or so depending upon the thickness of the lamb chops and your preference (medium, rare, well-done or whatever). Once cooked; remove the lamb from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
Cooking the Sauce
- Start the sauce the moment all of the lamb has gone into the oven. If you transferred your lamb to a rack or another pan before putting it into the oven use the pan that you browned the lamb in to cook the sauce. The juices left over from browning the lamb will make your sauce truly refined and complimentary.
- Sauté the shallot for 5-8 minutes
- Add the rest of the garlic and sauté for another minute
- Deglaze the pan using the ¼ cup of wine
- Now add the balsamic vinegar and then the rest of the mint. Let simmer for 3 – 5 minutes.
- It is at this point that you may wish to use your food processor/blender to thoroughly blend the sauce. Once done return the blended sauce back to the fry pan and let simmer for another minute. Then reduce the heat to keep sauce warm until ready to serve.
Additional Thickening – Use potato starch to thicken if desired immediately prior to serving. Probably 1 tablespoon will be enough. Just make sure that you don’t throw it all in at once. Carefully stirring in your potato starch will prevent clumping. If the sauce does still clump despite your best efforts put it back into the blender and smooth it out. Then return it to the fry pan and let simmer for another minute or so.
Serves 4 to 8 depending upon the size of the chops and your diner’s appetite
Potatoes: These lamb chops do go down real well with freshly boiled new or baby potatoes topped with a little butter and a mixture of vegetables. Mashed old potatoes will also do fine if the fresh new or baby varieties are not in season.
Vegetables: You can quickly cook up some frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, beans, broccoli etc) to round out the meal whenever you can’t be bothered preparing, peeling etc. the freshly brought varieties. Canned supplies will also do the job.
Tip: Do not make the sauce over thick when using then canned varieties of vegetables so that you can apply some sauce to the vegetables as well. They taste real good this way.