For some people, Easter is all about Jesus. For others, it’s all about chocolate bunnies. For us, it’s all about lamb. And this year, we’re cooking a classic combo: a silky, buttery, herby, onion-y wine sauce paired with perfectly seared lamb chops. And more wine, of course.
We love cooking our lamb to medium-rare and recommend you do the same. If you want to take it up to medium we won’t be too mad at you, but don’t go much further. A medium-rare lamb chop will be tender and juicy but if you overcook it, look out, because lamb chops are a fragile cut of meat. They will get dry and tough and then you’ve wasted some hard earned money and ended up with lamb jerky. So do us and yourself a favor, and cook your chops to medium-rare.
This festive meal will feed two really hungry people or six people who are just looking for a snack. Or three people somewhere in between. At our place, the bottle of wine serves one. Especially on a holiday.
Lamb Chops with a Red Wine Reduction
6 lamb chops, about 2 pounds total
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon butter (plus ⅓ cup reserved)
1 shallot, sliced
1 cup red wine
6 fresh thyme sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper
Add the lamb chops to a freezer bag with the olive oil, garlic and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Allow the chops to sit for four hours (or overnight) in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Remove the chops from the fridge an hour before you’re ready to cook them. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the one tablespoon of butter to the pan and swirl it around. Place the lamb chops in the pan and sear for about 3 minutes (about 90-seconds each side). Place the pan in oven and allow to cook for 10 minutes for medium rare.
Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the chops to a plate. Add the shallots to the pan over medium heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook until the shallots become transparent. Add the wine and raise the heat to high until the sauce is bubbling and then reduce to a simmer. Allow the wine to reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Add the thyme and the reserved butter and swirl. Pour the wine reduction over the chops and serve immediately. With lots more wine. Happy Easter!