Actually, it's kind of dumb-easy, but the flavors are SEXY.
So sexy, in fact, that I think this should be on your menu for Valentine's Day, if you eat meat and are into that kind of celebration.
We actually made these on Sunday for the Super Bowl, and I had to explain to everyone why we were eating random bits of lamb with the rest of the menu. My friend Cara picked up one of the pieces of lamb and said "omg I just wish we ate like this on Valentine's Day: WITH OUR FINGERS AND LOTS OF MEAT!" So there you have it, folks. Very Paleo.
To be fair, you could totally serve 3 of these as an entree and use a knife and fork like civilized people, but I kind of love the idea of housing some meat on a stick for V-day, ya know? It seems really irreverent and great. Eff knives.
For these, we start with a Frenched rack of lamb (or have the butcher do the cutting for you!), some butter, and salt. That's IT for the lamb. Then for the sauce we have mint, parsley, crushed red pepper, garlic, cashews, rice vinegar, olive oil, and a bit more butter.
I think the easiest thing to do here is to make the sauce, then preheat a pan for the lamb while you do any trimming/cutting you need to do, then sear the lamb while the sauce warms in a separate skillet and SERVE. I mean, we're talking 30 minutes or less to lamb, here. Start with the sauce! All ingredients go in a little food processor or blender.
Lamb! Preheat a large skillet (cast iron is my favorite) to medium-high heat with half the butter and a drizzle of olive oil. Put the little chops right in between each of the rib bones, and trim off any extra fat. You can also ask the guy behind the butcher to do this, but I like messing with raw meat, so there. Sprinkle the lamb all over with salt.
While the lamb works on the first side, add the mint pesto to a little skillet with the rest of the butter and turn the skillet to medium-low. We want to very gently warm the pesto and cook the garlic a bit while the butter melts into the sauce.
Now, after 3-5 minutes, flip the lamb and let it cook for a few more minutes. The lamb should have a nice crust on it from the butter, and how long you cook it will of course depend on your preference. I did these for about 4 minutes on each side and they were medium, which was perfect for us.
You could serve these as an appetizer, like at the restaurant where Jay used to work, or you could serve these as the main course with some fancy sides for Valentine's Day, OR you could just make these for the next time you're having friends over and want to feel fancy.
No matter how you end up, these are DELICIOUS and you'll love them. Try them soon! ps the pesto will probably have leftovers, and if you toss that with some gnocchi the next day no one will be mad at you. Promise.
Lamb Lollipops with Mint Pesto
- 1 frenched rack of lamb 6-8 rib bones
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt plus more to taste
- ½ cup mint leaves
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- Combine the parsley, mint, crushed red pepper, garlic, cashews, ¼ cup oil, vinegar, and water in a small blender or food processor. Pulse to combine, and taste: add some salt if you'd like. Add more water if the mixture is very thick - it should be loose enough to stir easily.
- Preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil. Cut the lamb in between each of the rib bones to make small chops, and sprinkle with the salt.
- Sear the lamb for 3-5 minutes on each side, according to your temperature preference, flipping once. 3 minutes on each side will yield rare lamb.
- While the lamb cooks, add the pesto to a small skillet with the remaining butter, and turn to medium-low. Let the pesto warm gently and stir in the butter.
- When the lamb is cooked, drizzle with the pesto and serve extra on the side for dipping. Eat with your fingers or as part of your favorite meal!