Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tomato Braised Lamb Shoulder Blade Chops

I like to serve this lamb dish over cooked lentils and topped with sautéed greens and mushrooms.   Yum!

Okay, I know that I promised you "Italian" the next time I posted.  But this is more of a Mediterranean influenced recipe. 

Before I begin, I'd like to thank any of you who have thrown your support my way in the "Extended Stay" contest.   If you haven't seen that post, I added a link to my last post to the end of tonight's.  Thanks again for voting for me.  

If you wonder where I've been, there are lots of great cooking contests out there right now and I have been working on those.  As I have a day job, my time is limited.  But fall always brings more chances for me to blog, so I'll be stepping up the posting soon.

Also, I am thinking of updating the look of this blog again.  So parts of my blog may be under construction here and there, but it's only to make my blog better for you! 

Okay, enough chit chat.  How about a recipe?  I mean, that's what you really stopped by to see, right?

I love lamb chops.  When I think of them, I think of these petite chops or the "lollipops" which are often served as appetizers.  Those can be expensive.  I honestly go into shock every time I go to the checkout now.

Lamb shoulder blade chops are often a GREAT value.  They are often packaged as "steaks."  But every time I've bought them, I've tried to marinate and grill them or pan sear them, and they've curled up and turned into... well, not my best meal.  Frankly this time of year, as much as I LOVE to grill, major thunderstorms roll in. I don't mind grilling on the patio in the rain, but I think getting struck by lightning might hurt so I don't want to do that. 

Tonight when I discovered a secret:  BRAISING them.  Yes.  Unlike what the butcher's label often tells you to do, these chops are most delicious braised.  

You still marinate them; oh, yes you do, but then you quickly pan sear them to hold in the juices, and then slow braise them in a flavorful tomato sauce laced with white wine and Worcestershire -  and it makes them so nice and tender. 

If you like lamb, you're going to love this recipe!

So here we go:

This recipe serves two (2) with lots of sauce.  See my note at the end for doubling the recipe.  Unlike many of my recipes, this one will need just a little tweaking if doubling. 


2 Lamb Shoulder Blade chops, bone in, about 1 1/2 lbs. total
1/8 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
1/8 tsp. salt free table blend seasoning (select a brand with includes cumin if possible, or add a pinch of cumin)
1 small lemon, juiced and rind reserved
2 springs rosemary, plus 1/2 tbsp. chopped rosemary
1/8 tsp. Mediterranean sea salt
1 can (15 ounces) original recipe stewed tomatoes with juice
1 tbsp. concentrated beef stock
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup dry white wine or non alcoholic wine

Note:  You can substitute beef stock for the concentrated stock and wine to keep it "family friendly."  Adjust salt accordingly depending on the salt content of your stock.

Add the lamb to a bowl or container suitable for marinating.

Add the olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, Cayenne pepper, and salt free table blend to a bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice. 

Pour the mixture over the lamb and add the rosemary springs and lemon rind on top of the chops (steaks).  Marinate for at least an hour, but no more than 90 minutes.  Acid tends to cook meat and you don't want that. 

Get a sauté pan smoking hot. 

Pull off any large garlic chunks of marinated lamb but do not pat dry.  You need the oil to get the sear.

Add the rest of the oil to it and sear the chops on both sides; about one minute each just to get a nice sear - longer if you need to, but no more than two minutes each side.

Transfer to a glass baking dish.  Season with the sea salt. Flip lamb and season the other side.

Mix together the tomato, concentrated beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, wine the remaining garlic and reserved chopped rosemary. 

Pour the braising mixture over the lamb.

Carefully cover with foil so that the foil isn't touching the tomatoes. 

Bake at 275 for one hour until lamb is well one and falling off the bone. 

You are going to LOVE this recipe.

Cheers!  I'll see you soon.

Note:  If making four (4) servings, use half of the juice from the second can of tomatoes, and 1 1/2 tbs. of the concentrated both.

To serve:  I like to serve this over cooked lentils with sautéed collard greens and mushrooms. 

Link to previous blog post:  SEND MK TO NYC!


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