I absolutely love lamb chops, and my wife won’t touch them with a barge-pole.
Specifically, roast lamb chops with mint sauce (or more easy to come by here in the USA, mint jelly).
With Mrs. Seeker off to see her folks with Seeker Jr. for a short holiday, that has left me to my own culinary devices, which I shall say, are relatively few.
The flip side to this, is that it allows me free reign to experiment, and experiment I did:
I did up some lamb chops in a “best-guess” recipe that hopefully, kills two birds with one stone - namely, to tone down the “gamey” taste of lamb and avoid using that obnoxiously green mint jelly (which I rather like, but I’ve long been on the run from artificial food colours - especially ones that give a most unnatural pallor to the foods in question).
To wit, most derivatives of mint - in its natural state - runs from clear to a pale gold colour.
I’ll touch on that again in a bit.
Here’s what you’ll need for the lamb chops:
1½ — 2 pounds of lamb chops
1 cup of mint leaves, finely minced/crushed *OR* 1 — 1½ cups of highly concentrated (pepper)mint tea
¼ cup of white vinegar
1 sprig of parsley
2 cloves of garlic, shredded
1 pinch of dried chives
½ teaspoon of sugar
a dash of ground pepper
About the peppermint tea: I had on hand a large quantity of peppermint tea concentrate which I had prepared the other day (peppermint tea is very refreshing on a hot summer’s day, and I make it in bulk) - at least a gallon’s worth of concentrate with which I can make about 4 or 5 gallons of tea with. To make a gallon of this concentrate, I use a little more than a gallon of filtered water (allowing for some water loss to boiling) and four or five large teabags full of peppermint tea, boiled for about 10 minutes and steeped for about an two hours to produce a concentrate about the colour of cola.
If all that tea is not your bag (heh)… you can also simply get about a cup of mint leaves at the grocer’s and crush it up in a food processor, or mince it up with a good kitchen knife.
Take your minced/crushed mint (or peppermint concentrate) and add to it the vinegar, the sugar, chives, and shredded cloves of garlic, and a dash of ground pepper.
Take your lamb cutlets/chops and stab them vigorously with a fork, and then place it into the bowl with the (pepper)mint marinade, for about thirty minutes to an hour. It seems that the longer the lamb marinades, the less “gamey” the lamb is likely to taste.
Now off with you to make the mashed potatoes (or steak potatoes go just as nicely) and your vegetable of choice (I used string beans in the meal pictured above, for the lack of fuss-factor).
1) Preheat your oven to 350°F with a Pyrex/glass pan or suitable substitute (I find that the Pyrex pas clean up easier than most other pans, although if your REALLY like to “cheat”, you could slap down a layer of aluminium foil on top of the pan)
2) Oil up a skillet and warm over high heat
3) Sear both sides for about 1min. each side of each cutlet/chop
4) Bake the seared chops/cutlets for about 30min for each inch of thickness (for about 1½ pounds of cutlets at about 1-inch thickness, this should result in a medium to medium-well finish for approx. 3 servings)
5) Serve with the ’smashed taters and veggies, garnish with parsley…
Your mileage may vary with this depending upon the cuts and thickness of the chops you get - this recipe seems to have turned out quite well with the cuts you see pictured above.
And the beauty is I did not need to buy any of that scary-leprechaun green mint jelly: there was a definite subtle mint flavour sealed in with the lamb, and though not as “lamb-gamey” as I normally like it, it means it will likely pass muster with Mrs. Seeker when she gets back from her holiday trip.