You know those days when you know at least one ingredient you want to use for a meal, but aren’t at all intrigued by dishes you usually make with it? That is exactly what happened to me yesterday, and is what led me to make this dish.
The ingredient in question was ground lamb. Now, lamb is one of my favorite meats, but I was not at all excited by the thought of burgers (we already ate some this week), meatballs, or a bolognese sauce, or anything to do with pasta really.
I haven’t always been a fan of eating lamb. I can’t really explain why. But, I can say that it didn’t take much for my mind to be changed and inspired to cook it at home.
On one of the many visits to Jose Garces’ Amada, one of the dishes we ordered was albóndigas in a sherry foie gras cream sauce and hands-down they were the best meatballs I have ever eaten. Made from lamb in the Spanish style, they are pretty much the reason I bought Garces’ cookbook. I’ve mentioned before that his recipes are quite extensive and involve multiple smaller recipes that are then combined. The best way to approach these recipes is to prepare a couple days ahead of time. But, it’s all worth it.
So for Easter dinner, I decided to recreate his lamb meatballs and they turned out pretty well. What I love about them is that they are very moist and you can taste the individual flavors as they come together; I especially like the hint of mint that comes through.
All my life, I’ve never really been a fan of lamb. It could be because I was raised in a household where red meat was never served and as a result I never had a taste for it.
But, my mind was changed when we ate at Amada recently and we ordered the albondigas (meatballs) made from lamb. They were the most tender and delicious meatballs I’ve ever had.
So, when we were shopping at the Reading Terminal Market on one of our weekly trips, I didn’t say no to the purchase of lamb loin chops. They pretty much look like a thicker version of the T-bone steak.
Lamb loin chops (as many as you need)
Old Bay Seasoning (though, kosher salt is better because it gives meat a wonderful crust)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup cognac
freshly cracked black pepper