We love lamb chops with all kinds of different sauces. Anything with
mint in it, for example; a cherry Port sauce; a balsamic or buttery red wine reduction--all of these can be delicious. Occasionally, however,
we turn to the other side of the flavor spectrum. Instead of a rich and fruity sauce, we drizzle an infusion of citric, briny/salty flavors over a beautifully grilled lamb chop. These Mediterranean-inspired lamb chops seem just perfect, especially for warm-weather dining, and they have the added advantage of being delicious with a wide range of red wines.
Grilled Lamb Chops With Anchovy-Caper Sauce
For 4 people
4-6 lamb loin chops
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
3 anchovy filets, rinsed and patted dry
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup red wine
1 teaspoon capers
red pepper flakes
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Generously salt and pepper both sides of the lamb chops. Cover them lightly with waxed paper or paper towels and let them rest while you prepare the sauce.
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet. Add the shallots and cook them for a couple of minutes until they begin to soften. Add the anchovy fillets and the garlic, and cook for another two or three minutes, mashing the ingredients together as they cook. Add the chicken broth and wine, then raise the heat and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until it is reduced by about a third. Stir in the capers, red pepper flakes, and the lemon zest and juice, and cook for another minute. To serve, drizzle the sauce over the lamb chops once you have grilled them to your desired degree of doneness.
* * *
This is certainly a red wine dish, but which red you choose depends at least in part on when you are planning to have the meal. In winter, a hearty and fairly tannic wine may well do best. In summer, however, tannins can seem oppressive, and a softer wine will work better. Since summer is when most people fire up their grills, we kept that distinction in mind when choosing which wines to try. Still, two Cabernets made our top five, proving yet again that this grape has a special affinity for lamb.
Questions or comments? Contact us at Talkofthevine@gmail.com