Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lamb chops with garlic and lemon, and roast potatoes

The lamb chops we ate this weekend were the most delicious I have tasted in a while, with a gamey depth of flavour that they do not have in the spring.

My favourite method is to marinate them, brown them for a minute or less on each side on a pre-heated grill pan on a high flame, and roast them for 10 to 15 minutes. The oven heats them through without charring their surfaces; and it offers the second advantage of enabling you to cook the chops in their marinade.

I used new potatoes, peeled, sliced about the thickness of pound coins, put into cold water, rinsed, and patted dry. I have discovered that salting them as you toss them in oil in the roasting tin helps them to crisp (because the salt sucks the moisture out of them) and therefore causes them to be less sticky. Even so, I line the roasting tin with foil.

Prepare the potatoes as above, and toss them thoroughly in a roasting tin in a good glug or two of oil (I used sunflower) and enough salt to be distributed among them all. Roast them for 60 minutes at gas mark 6/200C, turning them half way through. If you have an efficient non-stick surface, turning them will be straightforward, though fiddly; if, like me, you do not, you may need gently to prise them loose.

For three chops, I crushed a clove of garlic with a little salt, and stirred in the juice of half a lemon and a tbsp of olive oil. I poured this marinade over the chops, turned them in it a few times, and left them, covered, for a couple of hours. I heated the grill pan for five minutes, browned them quickly (with the marinade scraped off) as outlined above, and put them into the roasting tin with the potatoes, pouring the marinade over the top.

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