This is a Great British Classic. It’s usually just neck of lamb, kidneys, onions, potatoes and gravy, but I’ve tried to refine it, by adding more textures and tastes. It also looks a lot nicer when presented, and just shows how good ordinary lamb chump chops can be (see previous page). The chops should be lean with the little bone and fat left on. The vegetables have to be chopped into very small dice, which may sound tiresome but it’s worth doing. You will need a shallow flameproof braising dish to hold the chops in one layer.

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Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 leek, finely diced
  • 50–75 g (2–3 oz) unsalted butter
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 thick, lean lamb chump chops
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 900 ml ( pints) Veal jus or bought alternative
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon lamb fat or beef dripping
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • A sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.

Lightly cook the diced vegetables in the butter with the garlic and rosemary for a few minutes until softened. Drain and keep to one side. Fry the chops in the butter remaining in the pan for about 3–4 minutes on each side until golden. Remove and drain. Add the white wine to the pan and boil to reduce until almost dry. This will help release all the flavours into the sauce. Add the jus, bring just to the boil, then strain through a sieve.

Shape the potatoes into cylinders and slice them 3 mm ( in) thick. You will need about ten slices per chop. Fry the potatoes in the fat or dripping until golden, then drain well.

Place the chops in the braising dish and spoon the vegetables on top, covering all the lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Layer the potatoes on top of the vegetables, overlapping them almost to resemble fish scales. Pour the gravy around and bring to the simmer. Place in the pre-heated oven and allow to braise for about 40–45 minutes. The potatoes should be crisp and golden.

Remove the chops with the vegetables and potatoes still on top. Bring the sauce to the boil, skimming off any impurities. It should be rich and dark, just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Place the chops in hot bowls, pour the sauce around and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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