Umami (pronounced oo-mah-mee) is one of the five basic tastes, and is described as brothy or meaty. Our predilection for umami—the only recently recognized (by western scientists) “fifth taste,” after salt, sweet, sour and bitter—is a captivating piece in the jigsaw of our gastronomic evolution. Umami is why the Romans loved liquamen, the fermented anchovy sauce that they sloshed as liberally as we do soy sauce on Asian cuisine. It is an essential component to the heart-warming joy of gravy made from good stock, meat juices and caramelized meat and veggies.
And it is why you’ll love these lamb loin chops! With very few ingredients, the Porcini and Rosemary Crusted Lamb Loin Chops recipe is a cinch to make, and a joy to eat. To keep the meal uncomplicated, roast some baby fingerling potatoes in a bit of olive oil, minced rosemary and sea salt; and a side of sautéed spinach in garlic. Dinner done.
As the skillet of chops was in the oven getting happy, I thought it might be a good idea to make a pan sauce while the cops rested, even though the recipe didn’t specify one. So if you want to up your game, first remove the cooked lamb loins to a platter and tent with foil; drain off any fat, and put the skillet on a medium burner. Add about 1/3 cup of white wine to deglaze the pan and loosen any brown bits, stirring often for two minutes.
You’ll need some of the porcini dust, so make sure to reserve a tablespoon or two. To the deglazed pan, add 1/3 cup chicken broth and stir until reduced by about half. Add the reserved ground mushrooms, pour in any meat juices that have accumulated on the platter, and a sprinkling of sea salt, cooking for another minute or two. Finally, swirl in a tablespoon of butter until fully incorporated. Put the sauce in a small bowl and serve so diners can ladle over their food.
You can use a food processor to blitz the mushrooms before continuing to chop them by hand with the rosemary, resulting in a coarser rub. A spice grinder, which is what I used, created a finer crust. This recipe is also delicious prepared on the grill. The recipe is for 8 chops, we only had 5, but otherwise used the same proportions for the remaining ingredients. We loved the results and plan on doing a similar treatment to a couple of good steaks…
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 lamb loin chops
- 1/4 cup finely ground dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
- Combine 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in a bowl. Smear over both sides of the lamb. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate 1-2 hours.
- Combine mushrooms and rosemary in a small bowl. Remove lamb from refrigerator. Coat both sides of lamb with mushrooms. Let sit at room temperature, 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet.
- Add lamb without overcrowding. Cook until brown on both sides, turning once, 3-4 minutes per side.
- Transfer skillet to oven. Bake until cooked to desired doneness, 10 – 15 minutes for medium-rare.
- Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest 15 minutes before serving.
If you make the pan sauce, drizzle some over the chops and your side dishes.
Found on TasteFoodBlog.com