My Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 event continued with a main course of pan-seared lamb loin chops served with a creamy, tangy and oh so buttery mastiha-infused Bearnaise … well, actually a Bearnaise short-cut. I read about a Bearnaise Butter on Epicurious.com and decided a version flavored with mastiha would be an ideal accompaniment for simple lamb chops. Served with fresh vegetables and some crusty bread it was all we needed for a satisfying meal.
Pan Grilled Lamb Chops with a Mastiha Bearnaise Butter
2 racks lamb loin, 2.5 lbs each
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Mastiha Bearnaise Butter:
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided
3 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 crystals mastiha, ground with a mortar/pestle
Prepare the Mastiha Bearnaise Butter in advance (can be made a couple of days ahead of time, bring to room temperature before serving):
In a small saucepan combine the shallots, vinegar, half the tarragon and half the parsley. Simmer over medium-high heat until vinegar is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing on solids to release any liquid. Discard solids; cool tarragon vinegar.
Mix butter, mastiha and remaining chopped tarragon and parsley in medium bowl to blend. Mix in cooled tarragon vinegar. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Heat stovetop grill pan over medium high heat. Cut the lamb loin rack into chops; season chops well with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear the chops in the grill pan about 3 minutes per side. Remove grill pan from heat and place in the oven to finish cooking the lamb, about 10 minutes.
Arrange the lamb chops on platter and top with a bit of the Mastiha Bearnaise Butter. Serve the chops with some sauteed vegetables (I sauteed fennel, green beans and yellow squash in some olive oil and finished them with a splash of ouzo and a sprinkling of ground mastiha) and provide the remaining Bearnaise Butter on the side.