I dont think there is anything better than a simple lamb chop grilled or baked and broiled with a side of mashed potatoes and mint jelly. But …. the French have a way with lamb and where I live now there are terrific lamb farms and the price is right to prepare it more than one way. So after a little digging in the mountain of cookbooks I keep here, I found a tried and true French version that will put any restaurant to shame. From Roger Verge’s restaurant Moulin de Mougins north of Cannes.
2 small racks of Lamb, thyme salt and pepper to taste
a few lamb bones
3 tablespoons of oil
2 ounces of shallots, chopped
2 sprig Thyme
1 Bay leaf
2 whole heads of garlic,peeled
1 tablespoon of tomato paste (tube better than can)
1/2 cup vinagar
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 1./2 -2 tablespoons Butter
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle the lamb with salt, pepper and thyme and roast for 30-35 mins. or 8-9 minutes per pound for medium rare.
Meanwhile crush the lampbones with anything you have available..brown them in a hot pan with the oil until they turn brown. Pout off the oil and add the chopped shallot, thyme, bay leaf, the tomato paste and 2 cloves of garlic. Cook until the shallots are transparent. Then deglaze the pan with the vinegar and red wine. Add a small amount of pepper and reduce the sauce by 70%. Then add 1 cup of water and simmer- reducing the sauce again by 50%.
While this is cooking put the remaining garlic cloves in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain and repeat this process @ 5 times. Put the still warm, drained garlic in the blender and make a fine puree. (you will NEVER be sorry you learned this!)
Pass the first mixture through a sieve into a saucepan, add the creme fraiche, and cook for 2 minutes. Then blend in the garlic puree and whisk in the butter. You may again put through a sieve, taste for seasoning- if you can wait.
When the meat is done, let it rest for a few minutes before cutting. Cut into serving pieces and serve in a pool of sauce with a sprig of fresh thyme.
A square of scalloped potato can really add to this but so can a simple array of baby carrots or even a wedge of crusty bread. –