This Food and Wine recipe caught my attention for a few reasons – 1. Lamb, 2. Garlic, 3. Capers, and 4. Anchovies. Plus I’d just received an order of lamb chops and thought I’d try out this zingy recipe by Mary-Frances Heck.
It’s actually 3 recipes in one. The garlic-caper paste on the chops is fabulous and flavorful. The herb-caper-lemon mixture could be put on cooked chops or filet mignons, for that matter. But both the paste and the herby sauce together are almost indescribable. You can taste the garlic, the lemon, the capers, saltiness, and the zing!
This would be a wonderful springtime recipe, using herbs picked from the garden, but I made this in the dead of winter, when I’d been craving lamb. fortunately grocery store sell small packages of herbs, and parsley is always readily available.
Lamb Chops with Garlic-Caper Rub
served with an herb-caper-lemon sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped mixed tender fresh herbs (I used parsley, chives and basil
6 tablespoons extra virgin oil, divided
1/4 cup drained and rinsed capers, divided
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided
Salt, to taste
8 garlic cloves
4 anchovy fillets, drained
2 pounds double-cut lamb chops, frenched
Preheat oven to 400°F with 1 rack in middle position and 1 rack positioned 4 inches from broiler.
Whisk together chopped herbs, 1/4 cup oil, 2 tablespoons capers, lemon zest and juice, black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper in a medium bowl until combined. Season with salt to taste; set aside. For fun, and a little more zing, I used a harissa-infused olive oil.
Process garlic, anchovies, remaining 2 tablespoons capers, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper in a mini food processor until a coarse paste forms, about 10 seconds. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and process until creamy and mostly smooth, about 40 seconds. (My mixture didn’t process at all until I added more oil.)
Arrange lamb on a large baking sheet with a baking rack. Rub lamb evenly with garlic-caper paste. Roast in preheated oven on middle rack until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chops registers 110°F, 12 to 16 minutes.
My cooking times were less, because I didn’t have double-cut lamb chops; mine were thin. Remove lamb from oven; let rest until temperature stops rising and begins to fall, 5 to 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to high broil; preheat 5 minutes. Return lamb to oven on top rack. Broil until lamb is golden and sizzling and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of chops registers 120°F, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Cut each lamb chop in half between ribs; serve with herb mixture. (Obviously I served the lamb chops as is – no cutting involved!)
Garnish with additional fresh herbs. (I didn’t do this because the sauce was herby enough.)