Crusted Loin Lamb Chops with Mint Basil PestoPrint
Serves: 4 to 6
My family loves loin lamb chops, and because the rib ones are too expensive to buy that often, that’s a good thing. There is more meat on this cut of chop anyway, and they can be thicker so they are at less risk of getting overcooked. And is there anything more irritating than spending a lot of money on a fancy cut of meat and then overcooking it? I once made an old boyfriend Beef Wellington. I spend HOURS on the dish, buying some very good filet at a pricey butcher, making mushroom duxelles, some sort of fancy sauce that I’ve blocked out, and then by the time the puff pastry was browned and crusty the meat was well done. I broke up with him shortly thereafter. But not because I overcooked the beef.
Back to the lamb chops. The quick dip in egg and then flour just ensure a really fabulous crust, but you could skip it if you didn’t feel like that extra step. The herby mint basil pesto is so nice with the rich lamb — mint and lamb have been long time solid square dance partners. A pretty meal, served up with some simply cooked white beans.
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 lamb loin chips, 1 1/2 inches thick (3 to 3 1/2 pounds total)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Mint Basil Pesto
- 2/3 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 0 Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Place the flour in another shallow bowl, and combine with the salt and pepper.
2. Preheat a large heavy skillet over high heat. While the skillet is heating, dip the lamb chops into the egg, and then dredge them in the flour mixture to coat the chops. Add the olive oil to the skillet, and when heated, brown the chops on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, working in batches if necessary.
3. If you can fit all of the chops back in the skillet in a single layer, do that, if not place them on a rimed baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Roast for about 7 to 10 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 130°F for medium rare. remove them from the oven and allow them to rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes before serving – the internal temperature will climb a bit more.
4. While the chops are roasting, place the mint and basil leaves with the garlic in a food processor and process to mince. Add the olive oil, process again, then pulse in the Parmesan and the salt.
5. Serve the lamb chops hot with the pesto.
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