Candied Lamb Chops are one of my favorite appetizers – everyone loves “Lamb Pops” – especially when they’re served with a Fig-Port Reduction Sauce. I serve single chops on a platter drizzled with the sauce for appetizers or buffets, or two chops over pilaf for a gorgeous plated dinner.
I spent the better part of 2014 working with the incredible folks at The Painted Table Catering Co., and even though I’ve moved on to new adventures (more on that soon!) I still consider myself part of the TPT posse.
Catering is nuts, y’all. It’s freaking NUTS. And that’s before you make the largest sweet potato casserole on record for the Food Network with one week’s notice on the same day as three other events or run out the door of the PBS show you just filmed to grab blue cotton candy sugar to drop off at showing of Frozen and change in the car because you can’t wear your PBS clothes at the Lieutenant Governor’s fundraiser.
To do all that, and to provide incredible, inventive food too? It takes special people. Special, talented, half-sane people who immediately think of twelve ideas when a client calls and says “Rhubarb Circus for 200 people on Tuesday” and hangs up the phone.
I learned so much, laughed so hard, and missed so much sleep, I can’t even tell you.
The owners, Rod & Jeromie, taught me so much without trying, specifically about pairing flavors. They make this lamb recipe with three different sauces and incorporate lavender in the rub, but those are their tricks, and I wouldn’t share their secrets for the world. So here’s my version of “lamb lollipops” – probably my favorite dish from my TPT days, and one that will always remind me of their kitchen and their kindness. There’s a video too, because somebody has to show y’all how to do this, the way they showed me.
And don’t make fun of my food processor, because it’s Saint Joanie’s and you shouldn’t talk about my momma.
Candied Lamb Pops With Fig-Port Reduction Sauce
- For the lamb:
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 rack of lamb, bones frenched
- For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup fig jam
- 1/2 cup GF chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons Port wine
- Place the first 5 ingredients together in a blender or food processor and pulse with olive oil until a paste forms. Coat the lamb with the paste, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (24 is best).
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the lamb rack on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and bake for 12-15 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- While the meat is cooking, add all of the sauce ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat, and stir to combine. Simmer to reduce by half, about 8-12 minutes.
- Serve lamb chops with sauce drizzled over the top and enjoy.