Spiced Lamb Chops with a Spinach Sauce
To Marinate the Lamb:
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tsp (10 mL) fennel seeds, ground
- 2 tsp (10 mL) ground mustard
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cardamom seeds (removed from green or white pods)
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 1 tsp (5 mL) coarse kosher or sea salt
- 8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- About 2 1/2 lbs (1.25 kg) rack of lamb (from ribs), cut into chops (need 18 chops)
To Cook the Lamb and make the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) canola oil
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped red onion
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
- 1 package (10 oz/about 300g) frozen chopped spinach, thawed (no need to drain)
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) coarse kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy whipping cream
Thoroughly combine the ginger, fennel, mustard, cardamom, cayenne, salt and garlic in a small-sized bowl, stirring to make a damp (and potent) rub. Coat each lamb chop with a scant teaspoon of this rub on each side, pressing it into the meat. Refrigerate, covered, for a least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
Heat 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of the canola in a large-sized skillet over medium heat. Add half the lamb chops, rub and add to the hot oil and sear each side until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a serving platter. Scrape any spices and oil stuck to the skillet into a small bowl. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil to the same skillet and repeat with the remaining lamb chops. Add the chops to the ones in the serving platter. Cover it with foil to keep warm as you prepare the sauce.
Add the saved browned spices and oil to the skillet along with the onion. Stir-fry the medley to allow the onion to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and let it warm through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the spinach, including its thawed juices, and salt. Scrape the skillet to loosen up browned bits of spices and tomato paste to deglaze it. Cook the spinach, covered, stirring occasionally until the spinach is olive green and tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir the cream into the spinach. Transfer the skillet’s contents into a blender and puree until the sauce is smooth.
Spoon a tablespoon (15 mL) of the sauce over each lamb chop and serve.
Yield: 6 (3 chops each).
Recipe courtesy of CanolaInfo.