Spring Forward, Already

Lamb rib chops to me are win/win; they’re way more interesting than steak, yet cost much less than the loin chops or rack. I brined these in that corked ’97 Gevrey-Chamb from a while back plus salt and herbs, then dried them and gave them a good rub with salt, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, and herbes de Provence. Meanwhile, I put diced onion, then turnips, then shredded kale successively into a pan with about 10 minute between each so they could caramelize and so each vegetable would be just right at the end. Deglazed with a little lemon juice, it had good sweetness, complexity, and earthiness. I also steamed and mashed sweet potatoes, and made a pan sauce in the meat skillet with the last dollop of our cranberry tapenade and red wine.

To accompany this hearty goodness, we again had the happy chance to compare two wines: an already open 2006 Château de Saint-Cosme Côtes-du-Rhône with a newly popped 2005 Domaine Beau Mistral Rasteau. They’re both well-made wines, with the Rasteau having a bit more in the middle, and softer tannins; the extra year, “villages” distinction, and somewhat higher price all had to do with the difference. This dish was an excellent match with both. Our current storm (number 317 for this winter so far, but who’s counting?) is rain instead of snow- there’s no doubt we’re warming up a bit, and very excited about it too. I think we had one period of three days where the ground didn’t have snow on it this Winter.

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4 Comments

  1. Heather
    March 5
    Reply

    I made a slow-roasted shoulder on Monday. It came out all shreddy like pulled pork. Yuummm. Served on a pile of Israeli couscous, it was just the best thing ever.

    Lamb is a great alternative to steak, I couldn’t agree more. The extra fat makes it much more forgiving to a neglectful cook, too. :)

  2. peter
    March 5
    Reply

    I LOVE the slow-roasted lamb shoulder. It really is one of the best winter meals ever, though I like mine on puréed parsnips with a little vanilla.

  3. Heather
    March 6
    Reply

    I love parsnips. I should get away from the Moroccan thing with my lamb dishes. I think I’m afraid to admit that the flavor of lamb makes me a bit squeamish, and so I just mask it with N. African spices. :\

    I bought half a lamb 2 months ago, so I have plenty more to play with.

  4. peter
    March 6
    Reply

    Hmmm. I love the lambyness of it, but you can’t go wrong with Moroccan spices. I also like to add coffee- either as a rub or a shot of espresso in the braising liquid.

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