Saturday, November 26, 2011

Double Rib Lamb Chops with Cassoulet of Summer Beans

It's funny how the simplest dishes can cause the most stress.  Take this, my first 'real' meat dish (the first one out of the meat courses).  I read the directions, a couple of times, and thought: this seems too easy.  Then I went to the local awesome meat market (Siesel's Meats), and the guy looked at me like I was an idiot when I asked for double cut rib lamb chops (in my defense, I was asking for exactly what the book said to get!!).  Apparently, you can have lamb chops, or you can have rack (or rib) of lamb, but you can't have both, at least according to this butcher.  He also was in disbelief that I wanted two racks (i'll be straight: it was $140 for them) - he asked me like 5 times if I was 'positive' that I could spend that much.  I think it was related to the fact that I couldn't give him a straight explanation of what I needed (THANKS a lot Thomas Keller).  It could have also been that I was wearing yoga pants, a t-shirt, no makeup, a ponytail, and chasing a toddler around, and may have looked like a teenage mother as opposed to an attorney.

So, anyways, back to the rack: it was pretty easy.  In fact, I think the hardest part was the injuries incurred while making the "quick" lamb sauce (hint: its not).  The lamb bones were fresh, and still wet. So they splattered - a lot.  Once in my face/all over my arm, leaving several actual burns.

The mis:

And... no other pictures, since I was too busy ducking the constant splatter from roasting/deglazing the bones.  (And plus, looking at pictures of stock isn't really all that exciting).

Next I made the rosemary oil... but again, no pictures (doesn't all green oil look the same?)

Next up: the beans.  I soaked some marrow and cranberry beans overnight, cooked them in some stock, leek, onion, carrot.  They... were still rock hard.  So I cooked them longer.  And longer.  Ultimately, I think I cooked them for close to two and a half hours.  A bit longer than the instructions said.

The morning of, I blanched the beans - yellow, green, fava.

I couldn't find any fresh soybeans, so I ended up buying edamame - just had to pop them open and toss them into the mix (along with some bruniose).

Finally, I prepped the lamb - tied them up, wrapped some foil around the bones

After we had the cheese course, I cooked the chops.  I browned them for about 4 minutes on one side, another three, then turned them to brown them all over.  Then I tossed some garlic, butter, and thyme in the pan, then roasted it for a few minutes in the oven.  Each minute desperately praying that I wasn't screwing up $140 of meat.

I didn't.  The lamb was beautiful.

The overall dish was amazing.  I love beans, and the mix of beans was awesome.  The lamb sauce was rich and lamb-y, but not too gamey.  And the lamb was perfectly cooked!  (suck it, judgy butcher!)  This was easy enough to actually make again.  Overall: keeper.

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