Seared Loin Lamb Chops with Red Wine Sauce

from Lidia Bastianich

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Lamb chops are usually readily available in grocery stores and at the butcher shop. Grilling them is easy, and a good way to keep their flavor. I also like to sear them in a heavy skillet, pressing them down with a spatula so all the surfaces get crisp. Here I recommend loin lamb chops, which are more economical than the rack lamb chops, and just as tasty. Chops are best served rare or -medium--rare. I like to make a little wine sauce to serve on the side. This sauce can be made in advance and keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer. It can be frozen in small portions, and reheated when you grill lamb or any other kind of meat. This sauce is great on grilled chicken, or grilled or seared steak or venison.

Serves 6

2 cups dry red wine
½ cup dried cherries
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 fresh bay leaves
1 large fresh rosemary sprig
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 loin lamb chops, about ¾ inch thick (about 2¼ pounds total)
1 tablespoon -extra--virgin olive oil

In a medium saucepan, combine the wine, cherries, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil over -medium--high heat, and boil until the liquid has reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Pick out the rosemary, bay leaves, and garlic, and discard. Whisk in the butter. Set aside and keep sauce warm while you cook the lamb.

While sauce reduces, heat a large heavy skillet over medium--high heat. Season the lamb chops on both sides with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Heat the olive oil in the skillet, and when the oil is hot, add the chops and sear to medium--rare, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with sauce poured over the chops.