Monday, November 19, 2012

Spice Glazed Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Coffee Sauce

I love coffee and red wine.  So putting them together in a sauce sounds amazing.  I've used ground coffee in spice mixes and rubs but I've never brewed up a pot of strong coffee and poured it into a sauce.  I was skeptical at first because I thought it would be bitter, but it was really good!  I couldn't taste anything that was identifiable as coffee.  It was a wine sauce with a nice earthiness to it.  It's definitely important that the coffee be strong.  I used the "strong" setting on my coffee maker and it worked fine. The ancho chile powder added a little bit of heat but the sauce as a whole blended really nicely. Next time I'd serve it over polenta or rice pilaf or something.  Normal people would probably make mashed potatoes (ew).  I used more pearl onions than the recipe called for, it seemed silly to use half a bag.  Plus they went really well with the sauce.  This dish wasn't actively quick, but it didn't take terribly long.  I would say it's doable on a work night if you aren't very busy.  I will definitely make this again because the sauce was fantastic.  I made a full recipe of sauce and didn't use it all.  

The asparagus was completely an afterthought.  

Spice Glazed Lamb Chops with Red Wine and Coffee Sauce
Serves 2

1 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
pinch of cinnamon
6 lamb chops 
~ 24 red and/or white pearl onions 
salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup dry red wine (cheap stuff is ok!)
2/3 cup beef broth
1/3 cup strong coffee
1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp cold unsalted butter

1) Mix the ancho chile powder, black pepper, and cinnamon.  Then rub it all over the lamb and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
2) While the lamb is sitting, boil some salted water in a pot that can hold the onions.  Boil them for about 4 minutes and then drain them.  Rinse with cold water.  When they've cooled enough to handle, cut off both ends and peel the onions.  Keep them intact.
3) After 30 minutes of sitting, sprinkle the lamb chops with salt.  In a large oven proof skillet, heat the oil. Place the chops fat side down (the edge of the chops) and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Turn the chops to one (flat) side and cooked until lightly browned, about 2 more minutes.  Turn the chops over and add the onions to the skillet.
4) Place the skillet in the upper third of the oven and roast the chops for 8 minutes.  Turn them over and roast for 2 more minutes for medium rare.  Remove them from the skillet with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. 
5) Tilt the skillet and spoon out most of the fat. Leave the lamb juice in the pan.  Add the red wine to the skillet and bring it to a boil, stirring to scrape up all the brown bits, about 1 minute. Stir in the beef broth, coffee, and tomato paste and boil.  Stir the mixture until the sauce is reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 3 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the butter.  Season with salt to taste and then serve the chops with the sauce poured over them.  

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