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Lamb Chops with Berry and Beet Reduction

July 11, 2012

Cheryl’s recipe of the week:


I was so excited to get gooseberries and marionberries this week, I could hardly stand it. It was nearly impossible not to scarf down all the berries as soon as they got to me, but I resisted. For your sake. And for the sake of this ridiculously yummy sauce. I’ve never worked much with gooseberry, but it added a beautiful sour balance to the sweetness of the marionberries and beets in the sauce.

We have a mixed bag of ingredients here, all lending a beautiful element to the finished dish. Also, remember, you are welcome to change it up, just keep in mind that as you do, the flavor and texture may change. And this sauce would be just as lovely over a piece of flaky white fish, a pork tenderloin or chops, or on it’s own over the grain of your choice!
Start with 2-3 small onions and 2-3 cloves garlic and sweat them in the olive oil. What we’re doing here is setting the aromatic flavor base for the sauce. You’ll want to keep a small pot of chicken or vegetable stock warm on the stove for the purpose of deglazing the pan (scraping up all those yummy bits of goodness that want to harden to it). So, as the onions and garlic start to sizzle and smell delish, use just enough stock to keep it wet and scrape up the bits on the bottom as you go along.
At this point we’re going to sear the meat. Season both sides of the chops with s & p, and add to really hot pan. We’re going to just give both sides a good sear, and finish the meat in the oven. When one side is nice and browned, flip to do the other side. Remove the chops from the pan and place into a 350-375 F oven for about 10 minutes. You want the internal temp of the meat to read 145 F before you let it rest and serve it.
Once the chops are gone, add the thinly shaved beets and potatoes (I used both white and purple potatoes), and continue to add stock as the moisture evaporates. We’re trying to reduce and concentrate all of these great flavors, but we don’t want the sauce to burn on the pan. Remember too, if you are one who loves to season as you go, the flavors are going to be very concentrated at the end, so it may be advisable to hold off on the s & p until the end.
When you have enough stock in there for everything to soak up, cover the pan for a few minutes to let it do its magic. Keep stirring periodically and adding stock as needed. When the potatoes and beets have become tender and the sauce is fairly concentrated, add the marionberries and gooseberries. They will add more moisture as they’re heated, and the berries and beets will give this sauce a deep red color. Continue reducing until the berries have mostly broken down (or keep them as whole as you’d like them! They will still add their flavor), and taste as you go. I added a little lemon juice for some acid and to thin it out a little at the end.
Remember those greens from the tops of the beets? Give them a rough chop, saute them in a pan with some olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper for about 6 minutes, or until they reach your desired texture, and they make a fresh side for this. (You can also add some of the kale from this weeks basket in with the beet greens and make a larger dish.)
When the meat is done, let it rest for a few minutes for those juices to absorb. Place a scoop (or gigantic, heaping, overflowing spoonful) of the sauce over each chop, pair with some of the green saute, and dinner is ready.
*Note: this dish was incredibly simply to make, and took less than an hour, start to finish. I only wish I had more berries to make it again.

Lamb Chops with Berry Beet Reduction:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 medium sized potatoes, thinly shaved
  • 2 small beets, thinly shaved
  • 1/4 c boysenberries
  • 1/4 c gooseberries
  • Chicken stock, as needed, to taste
  • 3 lamb shoulder chops
  • juice of half a lemon, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until slightly tender. Add stock to deglaze pan.
  3. Sear meat in pan, browning both sides evenly. Remove meat and place on sheet in oven for approx. 10 minutes*
  4. Add 2 tbsp more stock to pan, and add potatoes and beets. Let cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring periodically, for about 4 minutes. Check for consistency (you want it to start getting thick), and add more stock as needed.
  5.  Reduce heat slightly, and add marionberries and gooseberries together, stirring again.
  6. Let sauce continue to reduce until desired thickness is achieved.
  7. Take meat from oven, check temperature to read 145 degrees F, and let rest a few minutes. Serve meat with sauce over top, and side of your choice.
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