Thursday, May 12, 2011

Call me domestic goddess (if you don’t mind)

So the other day I really felt like cooking. And after a few Googles, a vague remembering-what-was-in-the-fridge session (aided by my having made mother’s day lunch), bolstered by my confidence from making awesome cheese sauce on the weekend…

I attempted lamb chops in pepper sauce (insert dramatic music).

And they came out super-well with mashed potato and creamed spinach. and as I kind of made the recipe by combining a bunch of other recipes (so it’s not mine, but not NOT mine either), I figured I should post the recipe to avoid it going the way of the tomato soup recipe (which was lost forever)…


  • 4 shallots, finely chopped (I only had 3 shallots so I used a couple of tiny baby onions too)
  • 10 ml olive oil
  • a little bit of butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar (all the recipes say this, I misread a label and bought malt vinegar and it worked just as well)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of cracked black peppercorns (to crack them, put them in a ziplock bag,wrap the bag in a serviette and smack repeatedly with a hammer).
  • 1 glass red wine (I used the arabella cabernet sauvignon which worked really nicely).
  • 1 cup of brown gravy sauce stuff (there is a fancy name that I had never heard until yesterday)
  • 100ml cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (I used the Italian parsley with the bigger leaves, with the regular parsley I’d only use 1/4 cup. Finely chopping by smacking with a meat cleaver is also the most fun ever).
  • Lamb chops.

And the instructions:

  1. Season chops with salt ad pepper. Heat olive oil in a pan (to hot hot) and cook chops for 30 seconds on each side (enough to sear but not cook). Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a pan and sautee shallots until they go transparent. Throw in peppercorns and vinegar.
  3. Add wine, and cook until the volume halves (once again there are fancy terms, and once again I don’t know them). Sip on leftover wine while doing this.
  4. Add in the brown sauce stuff and once again wait for the volume to halve. Add in parsley at some stage. There is a a proper time to do this but I find ‘Oh crap I forgot the parsley!’ works as a good indicator of the right time (throwing in a bit of salt occasionally as well as sprinkling in some sage and rosemary also makes you look like you know what you’re doing).
  5. reduce heat to simmering and add cream. Sigh in relief as it starts resembling something you might actually eat.
  6. once the cream is all mixed in and it’s simmering nicely put the meat into the sauce and leave it there to cook. It can’t dry out because it’s in sauce, so besides serving something still bleeding (my personal horror), you’re pretty much home free.
  7. Serve over mashed potatoes
  8. and of course don’t forget the veggies, I had screamed spinach ad eta and it was delicious.

It came out really nicely and I was totally proud of myself. Although to be fair I’m not much of a meat-eater, particularly when there are bones in it, so I ended up really enjoying the sauce on the accompanying mashed potato and giving most of my chop to P1 (who didn’t complain at all).

Verdict? it was insanely quick and nothing seemed to go wrong, plus you get to hit stuff with hammers, which makes it a winning experience all around!


Candice said...

Go Helen! So, when do I get an invite to dinner (though we may have to adjust the menu for a vegetarian)? ;)

Anonymous said...

Your style of cooking sounds very stress relieving and fun! I shall have to try cooking with hammers and wine!