Friday, June 21, 2013

Mom Meals: Lamb Chops and Seasoned Kale

Lamb chops may not come to mind first when thinking of family meals, but at $14.50 for six on sale at my favorite local warehouse store, I couldn't pass up these tasty treats.

I have not always liked lamb. I went through a (years-long) phase where I didn't want to eat anything that could be used for another purpose without killing it. Lambs have wool. Done.  Then I tasted a properly cooked lamb chop, and while I still would rather not eat lamb all the time, I will do so when the need arises.

I searched Epicurious for lamb recipes and landed on something I thought would be perfect, until I looked at it again an hour and a half before dinner and found that the sauce alone would take two hours. Oops.

I did another search and came across this gem.  Guinness Glazed Lamb Chops...oh my. We had some Guinness left from St. Patrick's Day (I know, that's a crime in itself), and I wanted to put it to good use.  The real beauty of this recipe is the time it took to prepare - 25 minutes for the sauce, approx. 15 minutes to cook the lamb, and 15 minutes for the kale (which can cook at the same time as the lamb). My son played in the yard while my husband watered, allowing me time to play with ingredients and hot bubbly things on the stove.

Here's the recipe, with some tweaks:

Guinness Glazed Lamb Chops

  • 2 cups (16 ounces) Guinness stout - I used a single bottle of Guinness, about 11.5 ounces, and that was perfect.
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed - I added in tarragon, as well.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 16 rib lamb chops - I had 6 lamb chops, and that worked well with the single bottle of Guinness

  1. Bring stout, sugar, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 2–quart nonreactive saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then continue boiling (keep an eye on it and reduce heat to keep it from boiling over) until glaze is syrupy and reduced to about 1/2 cup, 20 to 30 minutes. For me this took 25 minutes exactly.
  2. Preheat broiler.
  3. Pat chops dry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  4. Brush both sides of chops with glaze, using about half of your prepared glaze, and arrange on rack of a broiler pan.
  5. Broil 5 inches from heat, 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium rare. I cooked for a total of 13 minutes, and these turned out just right.
  6. Transfer chops to a platter and drizzle with reserved glaze.

Seasoned Kale

We have a wealth of beautiful kale in our garden, and only by sharing some did I learn about this yummy combination.

  • Twelve good-size kale leaves 
  • Garlic 
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup yellow raisins (I used the Golden Berry Blend from Trader Joe's)
  • Lots of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put a nice layer of olive oil in a frying pan
  2. Add garlic 
  3. After oil is hot, add chopped kale and salt and pepper
  4. Wait a few minutes, then add pine nuts
  5. Add the raisins towards the end of cooking
The whole process to get the kale to the right texture takes about fifteen minutes - just about as long as it takes for the lamb chops to cook.


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