Monday, May 11, 2009

Sake-glazed lamb chops with cilantro-mint vinaigrette

Ok, based on response to my Tweet about it last night, here's how to make the sake-glazed lamb chops with cilantro-mint vinaigrette.

Depending on how many people you're feeding, you'll want to get 4-6 chops per person. Costco actually has surprisingly good chops at a pretty reasonable price under the Kirkland brand -- you can generally find them in their meat section.

Once you're home with the rack of chops, you need to cut them down into individual chops. Use a sharp knife and cut in between the chop bones; use careful and sure strokes so that you don't mangle the meat as you cut it. Once you have them cut down, you will see a fat cap on the bone side of the chop -- cut off just the cap (i.e., only the portion covering the bone, not the portion covering the meat).

For the marinade, combine the following ingredients in a large zip bag with the chops:
  • 1 cup sweet sake (doesn't need to be premium sake)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • Dried chili flakes (I usually just dump in a bunch -- maybe a tablespoon)
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (2-3 cloves if you're doing it that way)
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
You want the chops to marinade for a couple of hours at least -- the longer they marinade, the better the chops will be.

In a food processor, combine the following for the vinaigrette:
  • 3/4 bunch of cilantro
  • Full handful of mint leaves
  • 3/4 bunch of parsley
  • Chili oil (I pour liberally, but it's up to your heat tolerance)
  • Fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup peanut oil
Mix with the food processor until you get a salad dressing consistency with the bits of the greens still visible.

I made this with some sushi rice on the side, drizzled with the vinaigrette -- the rice or other sides are optional.

Cook the lamb until rare or medium rare on a grill. Let cool for a few minutes and place in a bed of the vinaigrette with a little more vinaigrette drizzled on top (I generally serve a bowl of the vinaigrette on the side as well).

Best eaten by simply picking the chop up -- fork and knife are not required for the lamb.

This is inspired by the famous lamb chops at Chinois on Main in Santa Monica.

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