Lamb Rib Chops with Mint Gremolata, Mascarpone and Wild Mushroom Risotto, Sautéed New England Fiddleheads

Small and succulent lamb rib chops are seared and finished with a zesty mint gremolata. A creamy mushroom mascarpone risotto pairs well with the gaminess of the lamb, while local fiddleheads round the dish out with something crisp and light.


Ingredients:

Lamb Jus:

5 lbs lamb shank bones

Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lb onions, mirepoix

2.6 oz carrots, mirepoix

2.6 oz celery, mirepoix

2.6 oz leek greens, mirepoix

1 Tbsp tomato paste

Bouquet garni with 2 peppercorns

4 oz wild mushrooms (portobello, clamshell, trumpet, forest nameko, velvet pioppini, maitake)

Mushroom Risotto:

5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, ciseler

1 cup Arborio rice

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 cups vegetable stock

6 oz wild mushrooms (portobello, clamshell, trumpet, forest nameko, velvet pioppini, maitake), ciseler

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fiddleheads:

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 1/4 lb fiddleheads, washed well, ends trimmed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gremolata and Lamb:

1 cup mint, chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, fine ciseler

Zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted, chopped fine

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 lamb rib chops, frenched and trimmed of excess fat

Procedure:

For Lamb Jus:

  1. Make a lamb stock. Preheat oven to 500° F. Place lamb bones in a roasting pan drizzled with olive oil. Roast until browned.
  2. Place bones into a large stockpot. Add water to roasting pan to scrape up sucs. Add sucs to stockpot.
  3. In another roasting pan or in a large rondeau, brown onions and carrots. Add to stockpot. In a separate roasting pan or in a large rondeau, sweat celery and leeks in little olive oil. When softened, add tomato paste and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add to stockpot.
  4. Add enough water to cover vegetables and bones. Add bouquet garni. Bring water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Simmer 2-3 hours uncovered, skimming when necessary.
  5. Strain stock and transfer to a russe. Add wild mushrooms to stock and bring to a boil. Reduce until full-flavored. Adjust seasoning as necessary and keep warm for service.

For Mushroom Risotto:

  1. Place vegetable stock in a small russe and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and keep barely simmering.
  2. Heat oil in a large russe on medium heat. Add shallots and sweat until softened and translucent, with no color.
  3. Add rice to pan and stir to coat in oil and toast lightly.
  4. Add wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated.
  5. Add one ladle of stock to pot and stir until it is completely absorbed into rice. Once liquid is completely absorbed, add another ladle of stock to pot. Stir and repeat process, stirring constantly, until all stock has been incorporated.
  6. Add mushrooms to pot and cook another 3-5 minutes.
  7. Stir in Parmesan, mascarpone, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

For Gremolata:

Combine mint, garlic, lemon zest and pine nuts in a small bowl. Moisten slightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside for service.

For Fiddleheads

  1. Heat oil in a large sauteuse on medium-high heat. When hot, add fiddleheads and sauté 5 minutes, until cooked through, but still crisp.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

For Lamb and Service:

  1. Trim lamb chops of excess fat and french the bones. Dry well with paper towels.
  2. Season both sides of chops with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a sauteuse until very hot and sear chops until caramelized on both sides and medium-rare inside.

Place a heaping spoonful of risotto in center of plate. Arrange two chops on risotto. Place 5-6 fiddleheads around risotto. Place a spoonful of jus around chops. Top chops with gremolata.

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