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Lamb Chops with Black Currant BBQ Sauce

The other red meat? Lamb. I know, I know, lamb is for spring time. Well, guess what, it’s almost spring in Argentina and New Zealand. Well prepared, lamb can be exceptional.

Mint sauce? Oh, yes, that’s obligatory for lamb. You probably have a green bottle of mint jelly sitting on a back shelf of the fridge. You should check that expiration date. If the first digit of the year is a “1” then you need rubber gloves.

This recipe does not need mint sauce. It does use a sauce, because lamb has a flavor that begs for the completeness that only a distinctive sauce can provide. Here the sauce is a Black Currant BBQ Sauce, one that you’ll love eating all by itself.

This is another recipe from Hudson Valley Mediterranean, a serious cookbook from Gigi restaurant in Rhinebeck, New York. These lamb chops are rich in flavor and aroma. Even a dedicated vegetarian is going to be tempted.

If you cannot find fresh black currants, then a small jar of currant jab will provide the berry power you need. If you do use jam, you may want to ease back on the sugar below. Do some taste testing as your create the sauce.

Lamb Chops with Black Currant BBQ Sauce

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

For the Black Currant BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 pint fresh black currants
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup finely diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt

For the Lamb Chops:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 loin lamb chops (2 to 3 ounces each after trimming)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

For the BBQ sauce, combine the currants, raisins, ½ cup water, brown sugar, ketchup, rice vinegar, shallots, mustard, and cayenne pepper in a medium saucepan, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Strain the sauce though a fine mesh strainer into a blow, using a rubber spatula to push as much sauce as possible through the mesh. Season the sauce with salt to taste.

T prepare the lamb, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl.  Brush the mixture over the surface of the chops. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a medium-hot grill.

Season the chops with salt and pepper, and place them on the hot grill. Cook for 1 ½ minutes on each side. Then slather on the BBQ sauce and cook for another minutes per side for medium-rare, or to the desire doneness. Serve immediately with sauce on the side.

Source: Hudson Valley Mediterranean by Laura Pensiero

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