Lamb is a traditional Easter dish, but most people like to play it safe by making an Easter ham. I think lamb has an undeserved reputation for being too difficult for the average home cook to master. Ham is easy; you can buy it already cooked so that all you have to do is heat and serve (and lots of people enjoy cold ham, so you don’t even have to always heat!). If you’re headed to a big family potluck this week-end, then I say go for the ham, but if you’re having a small gathering at your home, then you need to give lamb a try!
I think one of the reasons lamb can be a little daunting is that it’s pricier than what you probably normally buy at the meat counter, and no one wants to mess up an expensive cut of meat. Today’s recipe is easy, delicious, and fairly foolproof. It cooks in under 15 minutes, and all you need to do is pay attention to the stove!
When my husband and I first got married, I would serve a version of this for special occasion dinners a couple of times a year. It felt decadent to my younger self. As I was preparing the dish I realized that it’s been a few years since I’ve made lamb for my family, but everyone enjoyed it (even Candice’s two year old gave it a thumbs up!).
I like to plan on 3 little lamb chops for an adult serving (When I make this, I slice up a rack of lamb. You can also buy individual chops, and they’re a bit bigger and require longer on the stove). This is the perfect time to use some of those herbs that we talked about a few weeks ago! Traditionally lamb is served with mint jelly, but this mint cherry sauce is amazing! You can make this cherry sauce a day ahead if you want to be prepared, just heat it up over low heat while the lamb is cooking. I would serve this with the roasted carrots we made last week, and some roasted or mashed potatoes.
Do you have your Easter dinner all planned out yet? Are you staying home or leaving town? What is your go to Easter dish?
p.s. Aren’t Candice’s pictures amazing? Can you believe this was the first time that she tried lamb?
Lamb Chops with Mint Cherry Sauce
- 1 rack of lamb, sliced between the ribs
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
- olive oil for the pan
- 2/3 c. red wine (If you don’t want to use wine, replace with more broth)
- 1/3 c. beef broth
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 16.5 oz can cherries, drained
- Coat a skillet with olive oil and heat to medium high.
- While pan is heating up, mix the salt, pepper, chives and rosemary, and pat onto both sides of the meat.
- Cook the lamb for 6 minutes on each side. These are small chops, if you’re using a bigger chop, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.
- Remove the lamb from the heat and cover with foil for 10 minutes.
- For the cherry sauce, combine wine, broth, honey and mint in a small sauce pan over medium high heat, and bring to a boil.
- Stir the cornstarch and vinegar in a separate bowl until mixed, and and to the wine mixture.
- Bring back to a boil for one minute, then add the cherries.
- Serve warm with the lamb.