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Marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops with Olives and Dried Cherries

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Marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops with Olives and Dried Cherries

Marinated lamb shoulder chops with olives and dried cherries.

There are two types of shoulder chops: the arm and the blade. This recipe calls for the blade because the marbling adds more flavor to the dish. While you can, of course, braise the meat, pan-grilling saves time and preserves the lamb’s natural flavor. Here, it’s cooked medium rare and then served with a sweet and savory sauce for a juicy weeknight meal.

Marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops with Olives and Dried Cherries

Serves | 4 |

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 1-inch strips lemon zest
  • 4 cups Syrah, or other dry red wine, divided
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 4 lamb shoulder blade chops
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup dried sour cherries
  • 2 Tbsp (¼ stick) butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

| Preparation | In a 1-gallon plastic bag, combine garlic, lemon zest, 2 cups wine, 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Add lamb chops; seal and marinate, at least 1 hour or overnight.

In a small saucepan, add remaining wine, olives and cherries. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat; simmer, 5 minutes. Set aside.

Remove lamb chops from marinade and pat dry with paper towels; reserve marinade. Season lamb chops with salt and pepper to taste. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet set over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Once oil is shimmering, add 2 lamb chops; cook, 3 to 4 minutes per side, turning only once. Remove from heat and allow to rest until internal temperature reaches 135°F (medium rare). Repeat process with remaining oil and lamb chops.

In a medium bowl, add butter and flour; using a hand mixer, blend until a paste forms. In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, add reserved marinade; cook until reduced by half. Add wine mixture; simmer, 3 minutes. Add ¼ cup sauce to butter-flour paste; whisk to incorporate. Add paste to sauce; reduce heat to low and cook until flour flavor is gone. Taste and adjust seasoning.

| To Serve | Serve lamb chops warm, topped with sauce, olives and cherries.

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Visit your local forager or farmers' market to find chanterelles for this easy, versatile recipe.