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Spice-Kissed Mediterranean Lamb Chops

Love was in the air this February as home cooks nationwide submitted their surefire “Recipes for Romance” to the American Lamb Board in honor of Lamb Lovers Month. Among the recipes to woo loved ones, Felice Bogus of Raleigh, NC, stood out with her Spice-Kissed Mediterranean Lamb Chops.

Spice-Kissed Mediterranean Lamb Chops

Love was in the air this February as home cooks nationwide submitted their surefire “Recipes for Romance” to the American Lamb Board in honor of Lamb Lovers Month. Among the recipes to woo loved ones, Felice Bogus of Raleigh, NC, stood out with her Spice-Kissed Mediterranean Lamb Chops.

With sweet and savory notes, Bogus knows that lamb is for lovers and share her recommendation for “lamb and love, truly the most perfect of pairings.” Setting the stage for romance Bogus notes that “there is little in the kitchen more romantic than preparing and serving a rack of lamb with your honey… Rosy, pink lamb, whether paired with a rich risotto or toothsome Israeli couscous, begs for a perfect Pinot Noir or an intense Syrah.”

1 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. + 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 rack Sepe Farm Lamb, separated into chops (about 2 lb.)
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
c. Zinfandel
1/3 c. unsalted pistachios, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425. Boil pomegranate juice, apricots, and garlic, stirring often, until juice is reduce to c., about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in an ovenproof skillet and cook chops until browned on each side, about 2 minutes per side. In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbs. olive oil, cardamom, smoked paprika, and pepper. Rub paste into both sides of lamb chops, return to pan, and place in the oven, and bake about 10 -12 minutes. Remove chops from pan and let rest while preparing sauce.

Return pan to cooktop over medium heat. Add wine to pan and stir to deglaze. Let wine reduce to a glaze, about 2 -3 minutes. Whisk in reserved pomegranate mixture and any meat juices that have accumulated on the plate.

To serve, place chops on plate with bones crossed. Drizzle around with sauce and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.