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GOOD OLD (OR, ACTUALLY, YOUNG) LAMB CHOPS - LAMB CHOPS WITH SHALLOT CREAM SAUCE Recipe by Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen Recipes by Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck is the chef and owner of a number of remarkable restaurants, including the famous Spago restaurants, Chinois on Main, Postrio, Granita, Trattoria del Lupo, and the Wolfgang Puck Cafes. He is the author of several cookbooks, including the ever popular Adventures in the Kitchen.

He appears regularly on Good Morning America and the Home Shopping Network. Puck lives in Los Angeles with his wife and partner, Barbara Lazaroff, and their two sons.

 
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Good Old (Or, Actually Young) Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops with Shallot Cream Sauce Recipe by Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen - Recipes by Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck Recipes Lamb Chops with Shallot Cream Sauce Print  PRINT     Subscribe to Gourmet Food Recipes from Wolfgang Pucks Kitchen  RSS     Gourmet Food Recipes from Wolfgang Pucks Kitchen   SHARE

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Media Services

Soon after I opened my first Spago restaurant back in 1982, I was asked to speak to a group of beef producers at a conference in Palm Springs. The invitation was flattering, and I accepted, of course. But, as I told my hosts a little bit sheepishly (and there is an intended pun, as you'll very soon understand), I wasn't sure why they'd invited me. After all, the only meat on Spago's menu at the time was lamb.

Of course, you can order beef, as well as pork and humanely raised veal, at Spago now. There's a simple reason, however, why I only had lamb on the menu to start: It's one of my all-time favorite meats. So, I'm always surprised when some people tell me they don't like lamb, usually complaining that it's too gamy or, well, "lamby," for their tastes.

It doesn't have to be that way. For my restaurants, we order lamb from a special farmer in Sonoma, Calif., who raises the meat to our exacting specifications, including my commitment to using only ingredients that are produced in a responsible and safe way. That ensures that the meat is absolutely tender and rich-tasting, yet mild.

You don't necessarily order lamb especially for good meat, however. Just be sure that you buy the lamb from a good-quality butcher or market, so you'll be sure you're getting good young lamb from animals no more than seven months old, rather than stronger-tasting mutton, which comes from an animal that is one year or older.

The next important thing to remember is to trim excess fat from lamb before you cook it, especially with cuts like lamb chops, which are often ringed with fat. Most of the strong aroma and flavor people associate unpleasantly with lamb comes from that fat, and cooking lamb with the fat transfers some of that smell and taste to the meat. Eliminate most of the fat, however, and you eliminate much of the reason for objections.

Finally, remember that the flavor of good lamb is best appreciated when the meat is cooked medium-rare. Push it to medium or well-done and you lose much of the tenderness, juiciness and sweetness for which lamb is prized.

Beyond that, it's up to you how you embellish a quickly cooked lamb dish. Since the early days of Spago, one of my favorite ways to offer lamb chops has been to saute them and then prepare a quick pan sauce with chopped shallots, vinegar, white wine and cream, a recipe I first learned back in the early 1970s at Oustau de Baumaniere in the south of France. Serve it to your own guests and, I promise you, no one will notice that you aren't offering beef!

Lamb Chops with Shallot Cream Sauce Recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients

12 lamb chops, each about 1-1/2 inches thick, excess fat trimmed
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon safflower oil or canola oil
10 shallots, minced
1/2 cup good-quality red wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup organic store-bought chicken broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preparation

Season the lamb chops on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a large, heavy saute pan large enough to hold all the lamb chops, or two smaller pans large enough to hold half each, over medium-high heat. Add the oil and, as soon as it swirls easily, add the lamb chops and saute them until they are medium-rare, 3 to 4 minutes per side, resisting the urge to move them around while they cook. Transfer the chops to a warmed platter and cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil to keep them warm.

Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the saute pan and add three fourths of the shallots, reserving the remainder. Saute the shallots until they are fragrant and begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, raise the heat to high, and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Add the white wine, bring the liquid to a boil, and continue boiling until the liquid has reduced to only about 2 tablespoons, about 7 minutes.

Add the broth and the thyme and continue boiling until the liquid reduces by half, 3 to 5 minutes more. Stir in the cream and continue boiling until the liquid reduces to a lightly thickened consistency, about half its original volume, about 5 minutes more.

A few pieces at a time, whisk the butter into the sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, if necessary, with a little more salt and pepper. Pour the sauce through a fine-meshed strainer into a clean bowl.

As soon as the sauce is ready, place 2 lamb chops on each heated serving plate. Spoon the sauce over and around each chop, garnish with the reserved shallots, and serve immediately.

 

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Wolfgang Puck, in the eyes of food lovers and experts alike, is one of the most famous chefs in America and arguably the world. He has spawned a culinary empire that includes a fine dining group of 12 internationally acclaimed restaurants in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Maui; an extensive catering & events business with bases in Hollywood and Chicago, famed as official caterer to the Governors Ball following the Oscars; as well as Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc., a corporation that controls, licenses, and franchises the Wolfgang Puck brand in a wide variety of business activities, including casual Wolfgang Puck Cafes, fast-casual Wolfgang Puck Expresses, consumer packaged foods, cookware, book publishing, television, and the Internet.

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The Austrian-born Puck began his formal training at age 14, inspired by his mother, Maria, a hotel chef. He left Europe for America in 1973 at the age of 24, having already worked in the master kitchens of three-star French restaurants. In 1975, Puck moved to Los Angeles, and soon was both chef and part-owner of Ma Maison. It quickly became a magnet for the rich and famous, with Puck as star attraction. Since then, he has changed the way Americans cook and eat by fusing formal French techniques and Asian- and California-influenced esthetics with the highest quality ingredients.

After the 1981 publication of the first of his five cookbooks, Puck, in partnership with designer Barbara Lazaroff, opened Spago. Located in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip, it was an instant success and culinary phenomenon from its opening day in 1982. Although the original location closed in 2000, three years after the successful opening of Spago Beverly Hills, Spago Hollywood today is remembered internationally as a legendary haven for entertainment, political and social luminaries.

In 2000, Puck developed his own "Wolfgang Puck" television show, which began airing on the Food Network in January 2001. The show features Puck sharing his cooking expertise with a studio audience who joins him in his kitchen, along with field documentary segments in which he explores the vast and diverse world of food, from farms to artisan workshops to restaurants, and visits with such luminaries as Julia Child, Robert Mondavi and Paul Bocuse. "Wolfgang Puck" was awarded a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Service Show in 2002.

Puck also appears regularly on ABC's "Good Morning America," sharing his latest creations. He has been a guest on a multitude of other shows, including "The Late Show with David Letterman," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Entertainment Tonight," "ABC News with Peter Jennings," "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," "Frasier," and "The Simpsons." In 2001, the A&E Network featured Puck's life on its popular "Biography" series.

Puck and partner Barbara Lazaroff are actively involved in many philanthropic endeavors and charitable organizations, including their own Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation, established in 1982, which supports the annual American Wine & Food Festival to benefit Meals-on-Wheels.

Puck lives in Beverly Hills. He and Barbara Lazaroff have two sons, Cameron and Byron.

(c) 2008 WOLFGANG PUCK WORLDWIDE, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

 

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The world-renowned chef with an extraordinary passion for food now shares that passion in Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen.  Wolfgang Puck makes great cooking easier than you ever imagined. Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe - exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable.

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Wolfgang Puck Recipe - Raspberry compote, made with fresh berries, makes a tangy, festive topping.  Recipes by Wolfgang Puck

Shallots form the basis of a rich cream sauce for the chops.

 

 

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Wolfgang Puck Recipes: Lamb Chops with Shallot Cream Sauce Recipe by Wolfgang Puck