These lamb chops were sooo good. I probably should have made them for Easter but I had actually forgotten I had these little gems in the freezer. 😮 I’m sure glad I found them. Don’t they look mouthwateringly good?
I love lamb. It’s one of my favorite meats. I like leg of lamb, lamb rib chops, lamb loin chops, lamb saddle roasts, rack of lamb, lamb shoulder roasts, lamb shanks, etc. I like it marinated or with a mustard crust, an herb crust or simply drizzled with a little olive oil and simply seasoned with salt and pepper. I like it grilled, roasted, braised, made into stews (vindaloo is one of my all-time favorite dishes), etc. I just love it. Baby Lady, not so much. 😦 Like many people she doesn’t like the gamey bite to it. As a result, I don’t fix lamb very often but I sure love it when I do. 🙂
One of my favorite cuts of lamb is the lamb loin chop. The lamb loin and lamb saddle are the same. It’s the portion of the lamb just behind the rib, in front of the sirloin on the back above the flank. This is where you find the most tender and expensive cuts. Now, the lamb loin chop is the lamb’s answer to a Porterhouse steak. It has the top loin muscle on one side of the bone and the tenderloin muscle on the other side. If the lamb loin chop is cut from the saddle whereby it incorporates the loin roasts from both sides of the lamb (it will have 2 of the top loin, 2 of the tenderloin, and 2 of the T-Bone) it is called a “double loin chop” or “English chop.” Lamb loin chops are prized for their tenderness and subtle flavor. They also are bigger than rib chops, and are the biggest lamb chop that does not have bands of connective tissue separating the meat. They are usually grilled or broiled, although they can be roasted, as well. They cook best if they are thick, i.e. 1.5 to 2 inches thick. Inasmuch as I have been neglecting my sous vide studies and experimenting, I decided to do these tasty little lamb loin chops sous vide and the result was absolutely delightful. This is what I did.
For the Lamb
- 2 lamb loin chops
- olive oil
- sea salt
- Richard’s Special Seasoning (recipe found here)
For the Red Wine Demi-glace
- 1/2 cup dry red wine, I used a nice cabernet sauvignon
- 1/2 cup of lamb demi-glace
For the broccoli
- 1 large broccoli crown cut into small florets, roughly 4 cups of florets
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
For the Lamb Chops
Now during part of this process the wonderful Baby Lady wasn’t present so I lost her remarkable camera skills in the early stages. So, you will just have to suffer through my feeble attempts of capturing pour and seasoning shots. 😛
Dry and lightly oil the chops on both sides. This will better enable to Richard’s Special Seasoning to adhere to the chops.
Season both sides with sea salt and Richard’s Special Seasoning.
Place the chops in a vacuum bag and put bag in chamber vacuum sealer.
Vacuum Seal for 30 seconds
Place the sealed bag in the water
preheated to 55 C/131 F
Now, 55 C/131 F is ever so slightly on the rare side. I like my loin chops medium rare which is an ideal temperature of 57 C/135 F. Sous vide cooking, however, does not give you browning or the crust on meats (the Maillard reaction) we all like. As such, once we get the chop cooked to perfection, we are going to sear it over high heat. Because the chops are small, you run the risk of overcooking your perfectly cooked chop, so I undercooked it slightly.
Cook the chops at 55 C/131 F for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the chops from the water, open the vacuum sealed bag and place the chops on a paper towel to dry them off.
Pour 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small skillet and place over high heat.
When the oil is hot, add the loin chops
Cook over high heat for roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute to get a good sear. Then turn.
Cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from heat and plate.
For the Red Wine Demi-glace
While you are cooking the meat sous vide, you have a lot of time on your hands. So, once you put the lamb into the water, pour 1/2 cup of good dry red wine into a saucepan.
Place on stove over medium-low heat. Add lamb demi-glace
Now, as all of you who frequently read our blog know, we make and keep lots of stocks on hand. They freeze incredibly well and will last for a long time in the freezer. I made this lamb demi-glace almost 1 year ago when Knothead came to town for his 21st birthday and I didn’t document the stock or the demi-glace process. If you are curious, it’s essentially the same process for making the Hearty Beef Stock, except using lamb bones, and the demi-glace for the bordelaise sauce in Grilled Lamb Loin Chops with Bordelaise Sauce and Celeriac Mash, except you stop with the demi-glace.
Reduce this mixture to a point where you have 1/3 cup. Yep. That’s it – 1/3 cup. This is an unbelievably rich, flavorful sauce. Cover and set aside until ready to plate.
For the Broccoli
Right before you put the chops in the water, put the broccoli florets in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Place in a microwave oven and cook 2-1/2 minutes on high power in 30 second increments. Keep wrapped until ready to finish the dish, right before you put the chops in the skillet.
I generally refuse to use microwaves except to heat water or reheat leftovers. Nevertheless, microwaves actually do a very nice job par cooking vegetables. Keeping the plastic wrap on the bowl allows the broccoli to gently steam. If you don’t want to “nuke” your food, then par boil the broccoli and shock to prevent overcooking. Also, if you want to preserve the pretty green color, add 1/2 tsp baking soda to the water. 😀
When you’re ready to sear the chops, add olive oil to a sauté pan over medium high heat.
Add broccoli florets
Season with salt & pepper
Saute over medium high heat for 3 minutes, tossing occasionally – Baby Lady made it back. 🙂
Remember, the broccoli has been par cooked so all you are essentially doing is heating it through and coatng it with the oil. Now, add the chopped garlic.
Cook another minute, cover and set aside until ready to plate.
Get a plate, place a scoop of rice on the side of the plate and position the lamb chops on the rice, tilted at an angle.
Drizzle with the Red Wine Demi-glace
Spoon some broccoli on the plate.
Serve & enjoy.