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Little lamb chops ... barbecued or sauteed with wine sauce.

Littler lambs produce diminutive chops, each just a few tender bites. The small size means the chops cook especially fast and care must be taken to get good browning as well as moist meat. Two techniques work well: barbecuing over hot coals and sauteeing in a pan. The barbecued chops are seasoned before grilling, then served with a salad and citrus dressing, which flavors the meat and greens. The pan-browned lamb with wine sauce is easiest to cook in rack form; to serve, slice between bones into chops. Australia and New Zealand produce the bulk of our "little lamb" supply. These countries prefer smaller cuts of meat and market a lighter-weight animal. Although American lamb cuts tend to be up to twice as big, occasionally meat from smaller domestic lambs is available.

Lamb for small chops is generally sold fresh or frozen as racks. Some markets regularly carry small lamb racks; others may have them by special order. The price will be higher than for larger chops, up to $12 per pound.

Buy 2 racks that each have about 8 ribs and weigh 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds before trimming, about 1 pound afterwards.

Ask the meat cutter to trim off the chine (backbone) and feather bones, and to French-cut the ribs (French-cutting means trimming the little amount of meat and fat from the ribs, cleaning the bones). Hot Lamb Chop and Citrus Salad
 2 pounds trimmed small lamb racks
 (fat, chine, and feather bones
 removed and ribs French-cut)
 4 large cloves garlic
 2 tablespoons salad oil
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
 1 large pink grapefruit
 2 large oranges
 About 1/2 cup orange juice
 1 teaspoon cornstarch
 pound escarole, torn into pieces,
 rinsed and crisped
 Salt and pepper

Cut lamb between ribs into chops. In a food processor or with a mortar and pestle, whirl or mash garlic, oil, coriander into a paste. Rub meat with 3/4 of paste. Cut off peel and white membrane from grapefruit and oranges. Working over a bowl, cut between inner fruit membranes to release segments. Squeeze juice from membranes into bowl and discard membranes.

Drain juice into a measuring cup and add enough orange juice to make 1 cup; stir in cornstarch. Mix escarole with fruit segments; set aside.

In a 1- to 2-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir remaining garlic mixture until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in juice mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring. Set aside to cool. Cook chops on a greased grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of hot coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds). Turn chops frequently until they're done to your liking (cut to test), about 5 minutes for rare. Mix salad with half of juice dressing and arrange on plates with chops. Offer remaining dressing and salt and pepper to add to taste. Serves 4 or 5. Per serving: 341 cal.; 26g protein; 17g fat,- 23g carbo.; 101 mg sodium; 77mg chol. Rack of Lamb in Spiced Wine Sauce
 2 pounds trimmed small lamb racks
 (fat, chine, and feather bones
 removed and ribs French-cut)
 1 teaspoon salad oil
 1/2 cup minced shallots
 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 cup currants
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
 1 cup regular-strength beef broth
 2 tablespoons whipping cream
 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
 Salt and pepper

Cut racks into 4-rib sections. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, brown meat and bones in oil on all sides, turning, until meat is done to your liking (cut to test), 12 to 14 minutes total for rare. Transfer meat to a platter; keep warm in a 150 deg oven.

Add shallots to frying pan and stir often until limp, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in allspice, cinnamon, currants, wine, and broth. Boil over high heat until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 7 minutes. Stir cream and cornstarch until smooth; add to wine mixture with any juices from meat platter. Stir until boiling.

Spoon sauce onto warm plates. Slice ribs apart and arrange in sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 or 5.

Per serving: 262 cal.; 24 g protein; 14 g fat,, 9.6 g carbo.; 93 mg sodium; 84 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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