I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pan seared lamb loin chop with mint sauce

I have never cooked lamb in my entire life but I do enjoy the occasional grilled rack of lamb or roasted lamb shank. Growing up, I remember accompanying dad to various large dinner events and the really posh parties would have on-site whole roast lamb. The meat were usually sliced infront of me and served with some mint sauce. This mint sauce is what I remember the most, something that has etched into my memory.

I stopped by the grocery store one fine morning and splurged on a few pieces of top quality "rack" of lamb (it is no longer in a rack, what should I call it once it has been broken down into individual pieces? update: Thanks Aleena for pointing it out it is simply called "Lamb Chop")

Cooking the lamb should be straightforward but making the mint sauce can be a little tricky. I want to recreate the flavor from memory using other people's recipe as a start. I have to state right now that the mint sauce that I made wasn't the same and no where near what I wanted.

The mint sauce recipe that I used was obtained from Saveur magazine Mint sauce. This recipe makes more than 1 cup of sauce, which is excessive for me since I am making only 2 servings. Therefore I scaled everything down proportionately.

4-5 pieces of lamb chop

For the sauce:
a bowl of mint leaves (stems removed). Smashed the leaves with a pestle or a food blender.
1/4 tbsp of sugar melted in 1/8 cup of warm water
a pince of salt
3 tsp of white wine vinegar

1. Heat some oil in a pan and seared the meat on high heat. Cook each side for an additional 3-4
lamb until the exterior of the lamb is nicely seared/browned.

2. Make the mint sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small serving bowl.

                        This is a variation of the lamb topped with some pan seared tomatoes.

The lamb on its own would have been suffice. It wasn't game as I expected and the searing effect added a layer of complex flavor to the meat. The mint sauce is far off and I had a hard time balancing the taste. More sweetness? More acid? Although the mint taste was prominent, something was missing and I am not sure what it is. I have a feeling that some sort of bacon fat/lamb fat is needed. Another advice, do not smash the mint into a paste, I should roughly chopped the mint leaves in the future!