While kids all over this fair land were spending their post-Christmas/pre-school days playing with toys, I couldn’t keep my head out of the wonderful cookbooks I received. The first one I dove into was the River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whisttingstall. Now, I adore the River Cottage DVD’s I scored last month, which I plundered for a great poblano taco recipe. But the Meat Book isn’t called the Meat Book for nothing. I’d be having none of those great vegetarian dishes. This book explains how to eat pigeon. I’m terribly excited.
I originally wanted to start nice and heavy with a big steak, but I got sidetracked with this incredibly easy lamb chop recipe with all that garlic. Like the roast chicken with 40 cloves, this one shouldn’t work. But all those cloves get sweet as they roast, and the anchovies add an unusual depth. Hugh uses a skillet to sear the meat and then tossed it in a baking dish, but I combined jobs and just used an iron skillet. I didn't notice anything missing from this rich, succulent dish.
- 2 lamb chops
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 anchovy filets, chopped
- salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Break up the head of garlic into cloves, but don’t peel them. Just give them a good whack to slightly crush them.
2. Heat the oil in an iron skillet set over medium high heat. Toss in the garlic cloves and saute until slightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chops. Sear on both sides for about a minute or two, until browned. Season with salt and pepper after a side has cooked. Remove the chops and garlic.
3. Pour in the wine and let reduce by half. Dump the chops and garlic back into the skillet and add the chopped anchovy filets.
4. Place the iron skillet in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, basting half-way. My own chops were done much closer to 15.
5. Serve the chops with the sweet garlic piled on top and some of the liquid leftover from the roast.