Lamb Chops Roasted on Thyme
Note: From “Homegrown Herb Garden,” by Lisa Baker Morgan and Ann McCormick.
• 1 rack of lamb, trimmed (about 8 ribs)
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 3 or 4 bunches fresh thyme, plus 5 thyme sprigs, divided
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 2 tsp. minced shallot
• 1 tsp. tomato paste
• 3/4 c. red wine or port
• 1 1/4 c. beef stock
• 1 1/2 tsp. ground arrowroot dissolved in 1 tbsp. red wine
• Fresh lemon juice, as needed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut rack in half (about 4 ribs on each piece). Season lamb chops with salt and pepper.
Place a pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Brown top and bottom of lamb chops in pan. Do not brown sides of meat. Remove lamb chops from pan and reserve the pan with the drippings.
Spread the bunches of thyme and bay leaves in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Place lamb chops on top, meat side up. Cover with lid. Roast until meat registers 125 to 130 degrees on an internal meat thermometer, about 15 minutes. Remove lamb chops and place on plate, loosely covered with aluminum foil to keep warm. Let meat rest for 10 minutes.
While lamb chops are roasting, pour out excess grease from pan in which you browned the lamb and place the pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the shallot and remaining 5 thyme sprigs. Sweat the shallots for 3 or 4 minutes until translucent. Add the tomato paste, red wine and beef stock, stir to combine, and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
Strain sauce into a clean saucepan and discard the shallots and thyme. Whisk in the arrowroot slurry. Cook until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust the flavor with lemon juice. Pass sauce in bowl to top chops.