If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed my quiet love for blueberries (unlike my less quiet love for strawberries), and so I thought it would be nice to enjoy them in a savory dish rather than the sweets I usually flock to. In my mind, two proteins go beautifully with fruit: pork and lamb. Based on the randomness of my cravings, lamb it was, and so for this dish, we have Lamb Chops with a Blueberry Sauce.
If you’ve never had a savory application of blueberries like this, you might make a face at the thought of this, but I promise, this is a surprisingly great match. Aside from lamb chops being delicious, the dish as a whole was gamey and rich, the sauce tannic, full-bodied, dark, and lightly spiced with star anise. I was also a big fan of the color: the sauce was vividly dark (oxymoron anyone?)–ok, strikingly dark–on the plate. It had an appearance that looks like it took a lot more work that it did, which is another bonus for this dish: you could feasibly do this one during the middle of the week as its very quick and easy to prepare. Now if only I could eat lamb chops once a week…
- 2 lamb chops (shoulder, loin, whatever you prefer/can find)
- ground pepper
- 1 shallot
- 1/4 cup port/red wine
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon butter
Begin by prepping for the sauce: mince up the garlic and shallot finely and set these aside. Then, season the lamb with salt and pepper on all sides.
Now, in a hot pan with a bit of both oil and butter, brown the lamb for about a minute or two on all sides. Then transfer this to a 400°F oven (I put the meat on a rack, but if you want to keep it in your pan, do whatever works for you) for about 6-10 minutes (it depends on the thickness of the meat–err on the side of more rare since overcooked lamb is sad lamb). Then, remove from the oven and let this rest for about 5 minutes.
While the lamb is in the oven, get to work on the sauce! Since I freed up my pan and had the lamb on a rack, I was free to use all of those oils and juices from browning before. So in the hot oil that remains, sauté the shallot for 5-8 minutes, add in the garlic for another minute, and then deglaze the pan with the wine. Finally, add in the blueberries, balsamic, and star anise. Let this simmer for 2-5 minutes.
At this point, we need to sex the sauce up a bit since otherwise, it just looks like a mess. So remove the star anise, puree the contents of the pan as best you can (food processor, blender, whatever), and then strain the puree so that all that remains is a silky smooth, dark, seductive looking sauce. The consistency should be pretty thick, but if you’d like to reduce it further, just simmer it a bit more until you’re ready to serve.
With everything done, simply plate the lamb with a dab of sauce and have at it! I served this with a side of mashed potatoes. Enjoy!